Children will be barking up the right tree with this enjoyable read. There’s still no telling why dogs run after letter...

IT'S A DOG'S LIFE

(A lot of) everything kids ever wanted to know about dogs—but couldn’t ask. Now, the bare bones of doggy secrets are revealed.

Readers will pore over and savor this slim, well-paced guide, which is narrated in friendly, conversational tone by a scruffily engaging mutt. Wittily illustrated in child-appealing, cartoony watercolors and chock-full of simple explanations of why man’s best friends do what they do, this is just the book for younger dog lovers, dog owners and wannabes. They’ll learn why our four-legged friends will eat almost anything (they have far fewer taste buds than humans), why they run from vacuum cleaners (supersensitive hearing), why they love hanging out of car windows (their sense of smell works better at high speed), and what those urine spatters on fire hydrants really mean (doggy newspapers). Who knew a dog’s inability to see colors well derives from prehistoric feeding habits? Sadly, some misspellings, including "Dalmation," were not caught in copy editing.

Children will be barking up the right tree with this enjoyable read. There’s still no telling why dogs run after letter carriers, though.… (bibliography) (Nonfiction. 7-10)

Pub Date: July 3, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-59643-448-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Flash Point/Roaring Brook

Review Posted Online: May 16, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2012

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

MR. POPPER'S PENGUINS

This is rather a silly story, and I don't believe children will think it particularly funny. A paper hanger and painter finds time on his hands in winter, and spends it in reading of arctic exploration. It is all given reality when he receives a present of a penguin, which makes its nest in the refrigerator on cubes of ice, mates with a lonely penguin from the zoo, and produces a family of penguins which help set the Poppers on their feet.

Pub Date: Sept. 26, 1938

ISBN: 978-0-316-05843-8

Page Count: 139

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Jan. 15, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1938

Did you like this book?

Ironically, by choosing such a dramatic catalyst, the author weakens the adventure’s impact overall and leaves readers to...

ESCAPE FROM BAXTERS' BARN

A group of talking farm animals catches wind of the farm owner’s intention to burn the barn (with them in it) for insurance money and hatches a plan to flee.

Bond begins briskly—within the first 10 pages, barn cat Burdock has overheard Dewey Baxter’s nefarious plan, and by Page 17, all of the farm animals have been introduced and Burdock is sharing the terrifying news. Grady, Dewey’s (ever-so-slightly) more principled brother, refuses to go along, but instead of standing his ground, he simply disappears. This leaves the animals to fend for themselves. They do so by relying on their individual strengths and one another. Their talents and personalities match their species, bringing an element of realism to balance the fantasy elements. However, nothing can truly compensate for the bland horror of the premise. Not the growing sense of family among the animals, the serendipitous intervention of an unknown inhabitant of the barn, nor the convenient discovery of an alternate home. Meanwhile, Bond’s black-and-white drawings, justly compared to those of Garth Williams, amplify the sense of dissonance. Charming vignettes and single- and double-page illustrations create a pastoral world into which the threat of large-scale violence comes as a shock.

Ironically, by choosing such a dramatic catalyst, the author weakens the adventure’s impact overall and leaves readers to ponder the awkward coincidences that propel the plot. (Animal fantasy. 8-10)

Pub Date: July 7, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-544-33217-1

Page Count: 256

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: April 1, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2015

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more