Posts tagged ‘dogs’

PAYBACK

Max’s Revenge

Written by Sally Gould

This is the first book in a series of books revolving on the main character, Max. Max always seems to get the short end of the stick. His older brother, Charlie, is perceived to be perfect. In the first story, the siblings are invited to the wedding of their Uncle Dan. But before the vows are exchanged, Charlie lures Max into a trap that ends with his falling out of a tree and disrupting the wedding. Things further deteriorate at the wedding reception, when Charlie attracts the flower girl, Lucy, who Max adores. Charlie becomes a partner in crime with the bartender and Sophie’s three brothers who conspire to booby trap the marriage getaway car. To make matters worse, Max’s evil Aunt schemes to get Max into trouble. Of course, Max finds devious ways to get his revenge.

The second story centers around Charlie and Max’s visit to their Nana’s house. A social worker has persuaded the boys’ parents to take a much-needed break. While at Nana’s house, the boys discover that the evil Aunt is trying to get Nana to sell her house. The boys get their revenge on their Aunt and try to prevent the sale. They plan several pranks to thwart the sale, but they discover Nana secretly wants to move. How will they undo the damage? The hilarious result will be that Max has to eat dog food stew.

Children in grades three to six will find themselves empathizing with poor Max. Perhaps they have a relative like Max’s evil Aunt. The comedy is spot on and the dialogue appears genuine and age appropriate. Length of the stories is not too long so the book will appeal to reluctant readers. Perfect choice for a summer read.

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SPY DOGS AND SCI-FI

Spy Dogs (1): A Suspicious Neighbor

Written by Amma Lee

 

This book is the first in a series of spy dog detective mysteries. Puggy is an adorable pet who is totally devoted to Bill, his human master. When Puggy notices a new neighbor dragging a large black plastic bag into the house next door, he immediately becomes suspicious. Puggy peeks into the neighbor’s window and discovers lots of computers, strange mechanical devices, and caged dogs. Puggy learns that many dogs in the area have recently been kidnapped so he develops a plan to spy on the neighbor and unravel the mystery. Puggy is astonished to learn that this neighbor is actually an alien who has a plan to use the dogs to control humans. The faithful dog must mislead his master and risk his own life in an attempt to unravel the mystery. This book is the first in a series and ends on a cliffhanger.

This series is of interest to mystery and adventure enthusiasts. I believe it will especially appeal to middle-grade audiences.

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Soup to Nuts #Poetry Month

It’s Crazy in Here! : Fun Poems for Fun Kids of all Ages

Written by Malia Haberman

On the last day of poetry month, I thought it appropriate to review a book containing a selection of poems that will delight members of the entire family.

This is a fun book that will have even those children who would never read a poem change their minds. The author has chosen a wide variety of topics that will appeal to boys and girls. There are monsters, fleas, dragons, dogs, cats, and bedbugs. Situations, like eating leftovers, classroom pranks, and falling in love, are explored with finesse and humor.

April is poetry month. Teachers might use this book to entice their students to explore poetry. While the book is recommended for ages five and up, I would especially recommend it to middle-grade students.

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SOUP TO NUTS #POETRY MONTH

It’s Crazy in Here!: Fun Poems for Fun Kids of all Ages

Written by Malia Ann Haberman

 

This is a fun book that will have even those children who would never read a poem change their minds. The author has chosen a wide variety of topics that will appeal to boys and girls. There are monsters, fleas, dragons, dogs, cats, and bedbugs. Situations, like eating leftovers, classroom pranks, and falling in love, are explored with finesse and humor.

April is poetry month. Teachers might use this book to entice their students to explore poetry. While the book is recommended for ages five and up, I would especially recommend it to middle-grade students.

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FINIS #Cybils 2017

 

FINAL REFLECTIONS ON EASY READER AND EARLY CHAPTER CANDIDATES

NUTTY ABOUT NUMBERS

 We Need More Nuts

 Written and Illustrated by Jonathan Fenske

This is a Step 2 Reading Book intended for readers in Grades 1 and 2. It is also a counting book. Children are introduced to squirrels who are hoarding and counting nuts. The number combinations begin with one and range up to twenty-four. This book may be read over and over to teach number skills or left in the hands of a child to practice independently.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Run, Run Run…

What is Chasing Duck? (The Giggle Gang)

Written by Jan Thomas

This is another book in the Giggle Gang series that features farmyard friends who get into sticky situations. Duck is being chased and he summons his friends to try to get him out of a jam. They come up with some hilarious solutions that don’t appear to be working. Repetitive language, expressive illustrations and lots of humor will keep beginning readers laughing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Fantastica Family

The Beach Trip (Sofia Martinez

Written by Jacqueline Jules

Illustrated by Kim Smith

Sofia Martinez belongs to a huge family. Whether spending a routine day at home, heading off to the beach or shopping for school supplies, things are never dull. Sofia is gentle and tender, but she is also determined and loyal. The chapter book contains three short adventures with Spanish vocabulary words inserted throughout. This book is an excellent choice for ESL students, bilingual families or English-speaking readers who want to learn a bit of Spanish. Sofia’s antics are fun for boys and girls who enjoy having fun.

 

 

 

 

 

A FAMILY AFFAIR

Barkus

Written by Patricia Maclachlan

Illustrated by Marc Boutavani

This early chapter book chronicles how Barkus became an integral part of Nicky’s family. Uncle Everton shows up at her dog with his dog named Barkus who is well-trained and intelligent. Nicky’s uncle will be traveling and can’t take Barkus with him. Barkus follows Nicky to school where he is immediately adopted as the class dog. When Barkus’ birthday rolls around, he invites the neighborhood dogs to crash his birthday party. One day Barkus is bored so he adopts a neighborhood kitten to become a part of his family. Nicky, Barkus and his kitten have a tent camp out in their backyard. Each of them comforts each other; no one is afraid of the dark.

Large font accompanied by simple illustrations and lots of dialogue assist young readers in maintaining interest. By using four different stories and reweaving them at the end, children learn how to recap and summarize events. Family and pets are two themes that appeal to young readers. Highly recommended especially for children in the six to eight-year-old range.

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THE RIGHT HOME

The Puppy Place # 1 Where Every Puppy Finds a Home

Written by Ellen Miles

This is my first time reading a book in this series. I enjoyed reading this chapter book that is perfect for beginning readers who love dogs. Lizzie and Charles are two siblings who really want a dog, but their mom favors cats and feels that their family is not ready to shoulder the responsibility of caring for a dog. One day, their father, who is a volunteer fireman, rescues a golden retriever puppy from a fire. The children plead with their parents to keep the pup. When their two-year-old brother falls in love with “Goldie,” and follows her everywhere, mom reluctantly agrees to adopt the dog temporarily as a foster pup. Lizzie researchers how to train puppies and Charles helps out with socialization training. Mom insists that they advertise in the community for a permanent placement, and the children reluctantly agree. They come up with a plan to keep the pup nearby. In the end, the family is surprised at how this golden retriever has transformed them.

This chapter book is charming; it tells the story from the viewpoint of the children as well as in the first person from the viewpoint of a puppy. In the process, children learn responsibility and the proper way to care for a puppy. Recommended especially for readers ages seven through ten, but the tale can be enjoyed by all ages.

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ALONE NO MORE…

Gumbo Goes Downtown

Written by Carol Talley

gumbopicA tale that is charming and sweet, yet focuses on some important issues. The obvious story line is about a guard dog named Gumbo, who lives in a shotgun house on St. Charles Street in New Orleans. He spends most of his time barking at any one who comes near the chain link fence, such as the girl in a polka dot dress and the postman. When the postman fails to close the gate one day, Gumbo seizes the opportunity to see the world. He follows the trolley tracks downtown to New Orleans. Here he meets up with a poodle named Pompon and a champion pure breed named Stella. Gumbo has the time of his life in Jackson Square with clowns, dancers, jugglers, musicians and the like. Soon his friends leave to go home and be pampered by their owners. Gumbo begins to miss his house and owner Gus, whom he never appreciated. Will Gumbo decide to remain free in the big city on his own and fend for himself or return to his former life?

The book description suggests an audience of K-2. While the simple story of Gumbo’s adventure is appropriate for that age group, the larger issues of homelessness and running away from home are better addressed to a middle grade audience. Talley provides a nice guide for parents and teachers to set up a discussion on these issues. Maeno’s illustrations are soft, colorful and appealing, but the text is small and difficult to read on some of the pages. I recommend the book especially for parents and teachers who would like to open up a discussion on homelessness, running away, and poverty. Talley also includes an interesting background section on New Orleans and the points of interest mentioned in the story.

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