Friday, May 25, 2018

Archie Book Review

Archie by Domenica  More Gordon tells the tale of a dog fashionista.  One day, Archie receives a sewing machine from his Great Aunt Betty.  He seems perplexed by the gift but becomes inspired when he looks at his own pet dog.

With a few snips of the scissors and some carefully placed stitches, Archie has made a coat for his pet.  While out on a walk together, he is approached by a female dog wanting a dress for her pet.  The pair become the talk of the town.

Archie's phone begins ringing off the hook.  Everyone wants to wear his designs.  Will Archie be able to keep up with all of the demands?

I thought this was a fun read.  The story is nearly wordless and focuses on Gordon's whimsical illustrations.  Children will love the cast of colorful canine characters.

I do struggle with the fact that the story doesn't seem to have a plot.  The main character doesn't appear to face any obstacles.  I am also greatly confused at the idea of a dog owning a dog as a pet.  This made me wonder why some dogs get to obtain their freedom and walk around on two legs while others are forced to be a pet on all fours.  I thought this to be the greatest disconnect with the book.

Overall, this is a fun read for children ages 3-6.



Friends Book Review

Friends by Michael Foreman follows the adventures of a feral cat and his fish friend named Bubble.  The cat has the freedom to wander the city.  He can come and go as he pleases.  His friend, Bubble, doesn't have the same luxury.

Instead, Bubble is stuck in his small tank.  He spends his days swimming in circles and sighing.  One day, the cat gets an idea.  He knows exactly how to help his friend.  Now Bubble must choose between his freedom and the only friend he has ever known.

I absolutely love this book!  While the text is sparse, the story definitely packs a punch.  My heart ached for the cat and Bubble.  They have a unique friendship that gets tested in a big way.

Foreman's illustrations are big, bold, and full of heart.  I love the vibrant color palette in addition to his placement of the main characters who always remain at the center of each picture.  Children will fall in love with the wide-eyed cat and multi-colored Bubble.

This is a fantastic read for children ages 4-8 and for anyone who needs a reminder of what true friendship means.



Snow Dog's Journey Book Review

Snow Dog's Journey by Loretta Krupinski follows the winter time adventures of siblings Anna and Olen.  The pair love to play in the snow.  Anna decides to build a snow dog instead of a snow man.

The children fall in love with their snowy creation.  They even provide a scarf and hat to keep him warm.  Later that night, the Frost King, bringer of all snow, flew overhead.  Spying the cool canine, he stopped and decided to make the pooch his companion.

Snow Dog can't believe that he has come to life!  The Frost King happily scoops him up and flies back to his icy palace.  Snow Dog cares greatly for the King, but deeply misses Anna and Olen.  He must now make the ultimate decision:  live forever with the King or risk melting away to be with the children he loves.

I thought this was a fantastic read.  The story is a mixture of Frosty the Snowman meets Pinocchio.  Krupinski has created in-depth characters that are full of heart.  The idea of a Frost King bringing the winter snow is truly magical.  Children will love the sense of fantasy that this story evokes.

Krupinski's illustrations are stunning.  Most of the scenes take place at night.  She does a magnificent job of balancing the dark background with cool blue tones to create winter pictures that will make readers want to snuggle up with a blanket a mug of cocoa.

This is a wonderful book for animal lovers of all ages.



Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Stanley's Little Sister Book Review

In Stanley's Little Sister by Linda Bailey, Stanley has a problem.  His once perfect home has been invaded by a new, furry stranger.  That's right, Stanley's parents have done the unthinkable.  They adopted a cat!

While furious, Stanley knows that he must be nice to his new sibling.  He greets her with a friendly sniff...and she promptly whacks his nose with her paw.  Stanley cannot believe what the cat has done! 

Letting out a series of barks, Stanley begins chasing the cat around the room.  His parents are not pleased.  The next day, he decides that he will win the cantankerous cat over by licking her.  This gesture of friendliness is also rejected.  Will Stanley ever find a way to befriend the furry feline?

I really enjoyed this book.  Bailey creates characters that are both realistic and hilarious.  Stanley is reminiscent of Doug from Disney's Up!  Being the owner of five rescue dogs and three cats, I can totally relate to the relationship between Stanley and the cat.  New pet introductions are always an adventure.

Bill Slavin's illustrations are larger than life and full of heart.  The images truly leap off of the page.
Children will delight in the hilarious and heartwarming scenes that fill the book.

This is a wonderful read for children ages 3-7.  Looking at the topic of relationships through the eyes of a dog and cat really makes the often tough subject attainable and fun to read.  I think this book would also make a wonderful gift for children who are in the process of adopting a new pet.




Widget & The Puppy Book Review

Widget is back in an all new adventure in Widget & The Puppy by Lyn Rossiter McFarland.  While  relaxing with Mrs. Diggs and the girls, a puppy wanders in through the cat door.  Mrs. Diggs puts Widget in charge of watching the puppy while she attempts to locate the owner.

Reluctantly, Widget takes on his new role.  The puppy starts getting into everything!  From eating the girls' food to drooling on everyone's beds, this pup proves to be a challenge. 

Widget is run ragged by this mystery guest.  He accidentally falls asleep and loses track of the puppy.  Will he be able to find the precocious pup before Mrs. Diggs returns?

I really liked this story.  Widget's character is lovable as well as funny.  McFarland does a wonderful job of describing the actions of a puppy.  I felt tired right along with Widget.

Jim McFarland's illustrations are vibrant and fun.  Children will delight in his depictions of animals at play, especially the puppy!  The expressions on the cats' faces are hilarious.

This is a wonderful read for children ages 3-6.  I think that this book would also be a great gift for those who are considering adopting a puppy.




Friday, May 18, 2018

Sofa Dog Book Review

Sofa Dog by Leonie Lord follows one dog on his epic quest to reclaim his sofa.  Sofa Dog loves spending time on his sofa with his human Sophie.  They are soon interrupted by the neighbor's cats who also want to share the sofa. 

Sofa Dog makes room for the two cats and Sophie.  Then the doorbell rings and Sophie's three aunts have come to stay.  The sofa is getting more and more crowded.  Will there still be enough room for Sofa Dog?

I love this book!  I fell in love with Sofa Dog the moment I saw the cover.  Being the owner of five rescued dogs, I can totally relate to Sofa Dog's situation.  This usually happens with my lap.  Each dog believes that my lap is his/her property.  Somehow, my lap always seems to have room for one more.

Lord's illustrations are whimsical and fun.  I love the intricate detail of the flea.  Children will love the colorful cast of characters that seek the comfort of the sofa.  They will also cheer Sofa Dog on as he attempts to regain his favorite spot.

This is a great read for children ages 4-8.



Teddy the Dog: (Almost) Best in Show Book Review

Teddy is back in a brand new adventure!  In Teddy the Dog:  (Almost) Best in Show, Teddy decides to compete in the Strut Your Mutt Dog Show.  He knows he has the style, class, and charisma to bring home the gold.

The sassy pooch keeps his head held high as he prances on the red carpet upon arrival.  Teddy easily makes friends with his fellow competitors.  But he soon finds out that being a show dog is much harder than it looks.  Does he stand a chance against these seasoned veterans?

I love this book!  Teddy's character is truly larger than life.  His sense of humor is spot on and had me laughing with every page turn.  Teddy's personality definitely reminds me of my own dogs.

Jonathan Sneider's illustrations are fantastic.  Bursting with vibrant colors and a memorable cast of canine characters, children are sure to delight in every page.  I love how Sneider shows Teddy's emotions with his eyebrows since his eyes are covered by his signature shades.

This is a hilarious read for children ages 4-8 and for anyone who has a dog with an attitude like Teddy's.