Tag Archives: dog

Wolf Camp

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Wolf Camp
by Andrea Zuill
Schwartz & Wade Books, 2016

Wolf Camp is a hilarious story about a family dog that gets a once in a lifetime experience going to a wolf camp.   Fang and Grrr, Homer’s camp counselors, teach him how to howl, track wild animals and hunt.  But, Homer soon finds out eating what you hunt is gross!  And through a series of humorous lessons, he learns that being a wolf isn’t always what he thought it was.  Homer returns from camp a changed dog.

Readers will feel the excitement of preparing for camp, riding the bus to camp, and making new friends at this very different place called “camp” and will love Homer and his loveable, laughable friends.

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A Dog’s Way Home

doghomeA Dog’s Way Home
By Bobbie Pyron
Katherine Tegen Books, 2011

Readers meet Abby and her Shetland sheepdog, Tam, on an agility course race.  As expected, they win.  The two are so close, Tam reads all of Abby’s subtle signals and no words pass between them while they race.

On the way home from the race, their vehicle is in an accident and Tam is tossed from the truck and falls down a steep cliff.  Abby is taken to a hospital.  When she is well enough, she demands they look for Tam.  They don’t find him.  Abby begs to stay to look for him, but the tough decision to leave the area is made.  They arrive home, 400 miles away, and Abby knows in her heart, Tam is looking for her.  With raging winter storms, Abby’s parents doubts the dog is still alive after a week.  But Abby’s Meemaw believes her.

Told from both Abby’s and Tam’s point of view, the story moves quickly with roadblocks in every chapter.   While Tam is making his way home, for instance, Abby and her family move!  A vet checks Tam’s microchip and calls and leaves a message—the day after the family leaves.  Each chapter pulls the story forward through spine-chilling or heart-wrenching events.  Although its 321 pages long, the pages fly by.  The story is well written and compelling to its very last word.

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Tulip and Rex Write a Story

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Tulip and Rex Write a Story
by Alyssa Satin Capucilli, illustrated by Sarah Massini
Katherine Tegan Books, 2015

Tulip and her dog Rex love to dance.  When Tulip receives a notebook with her name on it, and Rex receives a leash, they head out for a dance in the park.  While hopping down the sidewalk, Tulip calls out that Hop is a happy word.  Rex scratches Tulip’s notebook and Tulip writes ‘hop’ in it.   More words, like feather, float, flutter and splash are added at Rex’s suggestions.   When they collect enough words, Tulips decides to tell Rex a story using the words in her notebook.  Using all the words, she tells of a King and Queen who fight off a dragon.

Wrapped around an idea parents can use to encourage children to create stories, the author writes with an air of happiness, joy and creative imagination following the very active Tulip.  The illustrator highlights the happiness, love and close friendship Tulip has with her dog Rex.  It’s just the kind of book in which readers will explore the happy pictures and savor the clever, yet gentle, story.  A delight to ears and eyes.

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Alyssa Satin Capucilli, Sarah Massini, dog, storytelling

Job Wanted

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Job Wanted
by Teresa Bateman, illustrated by Chris Sheban
Holiday House, 2015

An old farm dog seeking food and shelter, asks a farmer if he needs a dog.  When told no, the dog asks if he had an opening for a cow.  “Sure,” said the farmer, “but you’re not a cow.”  The dog shows up the next day and herds the cows into place for milking.  Again, the farmer says no to the dog, but agrees he could use a horse.  While the farmer plows, the old farm dog dangles tasty carrots before the plow horse and work flies by.  No, the dog was not a horse, says the farmer, but he agrees he could use a chicken.  The dog cleans the chicken house and naps until the farmer came for the eggs.  A fox appears….  Well, you can guess how it ends.

With warm drawings, repetition, and a dog pretending to be what he is not, it’s a delightful story, allowing readers the opportunity to call out the humor in each scene.

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Kindred Souls

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Kindred Souls
Patricia MacLachlan
Katherine Tegen Books, 2015

I couldn’t put it down once I started and I was crying by the end.  Another wonderful read by Newbery-award-winning author Patricia MacLachlan.

Readers peek into the relationship 10-year old Jake has with his grandfather, Billy.  They have a special relationship and visit the special places on the farm, including the remains of an old sod house his grandfather lived in many years before.  His grandfather says they have kindred souls, something Jake doesn’t quite understand in the beginning.  His grandfather asks Jake to build him a sod house; Jake doesn’t want to.  Then one day a dog appears and Grandfather knows it has come for him and claims it.  Soon, Grandfather takes sick and is eventually taken to the hospital.  The dog bolts to follow the ambulance taking Grandfather.  Grandfather asks Jake to sleep with the dog until he returns.  The doctor gives the family special permission to allow the dog into the hospital.  The family seems to know Grandfather’s time may be coming soon, but never say that.  Instead, they build him his sod house.  Grandfather returns to enjoy his house and Jake learns that he and grandpa do have kindred souls.

A touching story I finished in one read.  Kindred Souls is a beautiful book about a quiet boy dealing with the death of his grandfather, his kindred soul.

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9-12, quiet hero, dog, death/etc

The Desperate Dog Writes Again

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The Desperate Dog Writes Again
By Eileen Christelow
Clarion Books, 2015

A tongue-and-cheek funny story showing how even the most horrible, worse things will work out, when given time.

Life is perfect for Emma who shares her couch with George and an orange cat, until Loretta shows up!  First Emma thinks Loretta is trying to kidnap George and Emma attacks her.  Emma gets in trouble!  To rid the house of this intruder, Emma goes to the library and emails Dear Queenie for advice.  Emma is advised to use a perfume the intruder will hate so much, she will leave the house running.  Only that doesn’t work out as planned!  Returning to Dear Queenie, Emma gets more advice—and more trouble!  Find out how Emma discovers the benefits of this intruder.

The youngest readers may need an explanation on the “Dear Queenie” reference, but they will enjoy watching Emma getting into more and more trouble, until things work out.

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Ellie’s Story, A Dog’s Purpose Novel

Ellie’s Story, A Dog’s Purpose Novel
by W. Bruce Cameron
A Starscape Book, 2015

Ellie, a German Shepard, tells her story from the time she was a pup through her experiences as a trained search and rescue dog.  She shares how she was trained.  She shares the excitement and stress of searches, when lives are at stake and everyone is counting on her nose.  And she shares the thrill and importance of her being a chopper dog.  All part of her work, she shares the loss of her trainer when he is injured in a rescue and her own injury while on a rescue.  A heart-warming and a sit-on-the-edge-of-your-seat story.

Readers will develop their own thinking skills as they read how Ellie thinks through challenging situations.

Smick!

Smick!
by Doreen Cronin, illustrated by Juana Medina
Viking 2015

Told in 34 words and the simplest of drawings, readers are introduced to a playful puppy named Smick.  Eager to run, Smick chases after and returns a stick, until he hears a ‘cluck’, a new sound to the puppy.  Curious, he investigates, while his master calls out “No, Smick, no!” afraid Smick might hurt the tiny chick.  But, alas, the chick and Smick become friends and chase sticks together!  A fun story.  One a young one can use as a first reader.  With 20 of the 34 words rhyming, a child will delight in the fun sounds.

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Meet the Dogs of Bedlam Farm

 Meet the Dogs of Bedlam Farm
By Jon Katz
Henry Holt and Company, 2011

With truly an eye for the picture and a heart for dogs, best-selling adult author Jon Katz brings the two together in his first picture book for children, Meet the Dogs of Bedlam Farm.  He gently tells the story of how his four dogs came to join him at Bedlam Farm and what jobs they do.  Through brilliant photo journalism and masterful storytelling, we see Border Collie Rose in the snow herding sheep.  We see Border Collie Izzy, who was abandoned and alone until he joined Bedlam Farm, comfort sick people.  We see Frieda, part Rottweiler and part German Shepherd and formerly a wild dog, protect the farm from foxes and coyotes.  In each dog’s photo story we see Lenore, and throughout the story Katz asks: What is Lenore’s job?

Black Labrador retriever Lenore “…licks the other dogs, touches noses and wags her tail.  She makes sure everyone is happy.”  She’s the one that tamed Frieda, comforted a frightened Izzy and taught a hard-working Rose how to play.  “Her job is loving and accepting and having patience.”  “Thanks to Lenore, the dogs are a family.” Katz’ book is an ideal book for dog lovers, the perfect book for any young child.

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Cowpoke Clyde and Dirty Dawg

Cowpoke Clyde and Dirty Dawg
By  Lori Mortensen, illustrated by Michael Allen Austin
Clarion Books, 2013

I can’t decide which I love the most, the clever, fun rhymes, the twists in the story, the surprise at the end, or the cute dawg running through the scenes.  It’s got it all going for it.  The lively rhyme and the jump off the page illustrations will hold the attention of the liveliest youngster.  A great book for active boys.

The story goes like this: When Cowpoke Clyde, whose house is immaculate, spies dirty dawg, he determines dirty dawg needs a cleaning and a raucous romp through the ranch pursues.  Surprises and laughter ensue as Cowpoke Clyde tries to outsmart the dawg, but the dawg is stubborn, and doesn’t like to be told what to do….  A fun read with a surprising and satisfying ending.

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