While reaching out to save a friend in trouble—even a bully—is an act of heroism, kids, don’t try this at home!

TEBOW TAILS

A bully learns a valuable lesson about how to treat his friends in this anthropomorphized dog tale of adventure on the water from debut author Sullivan.

Tebow the fawn boxer is eager to meet up with his other dog friends on Dog Bone Island, where the group always gathers for “Sunday Funday.” He takes his Jet Ski to the island’s marina, which is run by Oscar the owl, a bird who, in the illustrations, appears to be as large as Tebow. Oscar’s assistant is Parker the pelican, whose inner thoughts reveal personality traits of the other characters, despite Parker’s inability to remember any of their names. When the pups are all finally gathered, Tebow realizes that Caspar, his golden retriever friend, has been especially shy. The reason is soon clear: Hunter, a red golden retriever, is playing too roughly, knocking Caspar to the ground in a friendly game of Frisbee and holding him down in the sand until Caspar begs to be released. Hunter nips at the heels of two of their racing friends and parades around as though he’s top dog. Concerned, Tebow confronts Caspar about the problem. Caspar acknowledges that Hunter is bothering him but says, “Maybe Hunter just needs a hug.” Not long after, Hunter needs more than a hug: ignoring posted warnings, he goes for a swim and gets caught in a riptide. Tebow races for his Jet Ski to rescue him, but Caspar doesn’t want to risk waiting for the vehicle. He swims to Hunter to assist him until their rescuers arrive. Parents will appreciate the book’s message about caring for friends even when they’re not on their best behavior. But the small type and chunky blocks of text may be daunting for young readers. The canine cast, rendered in colorful, cartoonish illustrations by Prato (The Sensational Letter “S”, 2016, etc.), walk upright, which makes them seem stiff and less doglike. Additionally, Caspar’s heroism glosses the danger of riptides.

While reaching out to save a friend in trouble—even a bully—is an act of heroism, kids, don’t try this at home!

Pub Date: Sept. 28, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4834-5800-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Lulu

Review Posted Online: Jan. 4, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

ABIYOYO RETURNS

The seemingly ageless Seeger brings back his renowned giant for another go in a tuneful tale that, like the art, is a bit sketchy, but chockful of worthy messages. Faced with yearly floods and droughts since they’ve cut down all their trees, the townsfolk decide to build a dam—but the project is stymied by a boulder that is too huge to move. Call on Abiyoyo, suggests the granddaughter of the man with the magic wand, then just “Zoop Zoop” him away again. But the rock that Abiyoyo obligingly flings aside smashes the wand. How to avoid Abiyoyo’s destruction now? Sing the monster to sleep, then make it a peaceful, tree-planting member of the community, of course. Seeger sums it up in a postscript: “every community must learn to manage its giants.” Hays, who illustrated the original (1986), creates colorful, if unfinished-looking, scenes featuring a notably multicultural human cast and a towering Cubist fantasy of a giant. The song, based on a Xhosa lullaby, still has that hard-to-resist sing-along potential, and the themes of waging peace, collective action, and the benefits of sound ecological practices are presented in ways that children will both appreciate and enjoy. (Picture book. 5-9)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-689-83271-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2001

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A DOG NAMED SAM

A book that will make young dog-owners smile in recognition and confirm dogless readers' worst suspicions about the mayhem caused by pets, even winsome ones. Sam, who bears passing resemblance to an affable golden retriever, is praised for fetching the family newspaper, and goes on to fetch every other newspaper on the block. In the next story, only the children love Sam's swimming; he is yelled at by lifeguards and fishermen alike when he splashes through every watering hole he can find. Finally, there is woe to the entire family when Sam is bored and lonely for one long night. Boland has an essential message, captured in both both story and illustrations of this Easy-to-Read: Kids and dogs belong together, especially when it's a fun-loving canine like Sam. An appealing tale. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 1, 1996

ISBN: 0-8037-1530-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1996

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more