Posts Tagged ‘dogs’

Viola Vincent reporting…Underdog by Anna Kenna

December 13, 2017 Comments off

UnderdogViola Vincent reporting…Underdog by Anna Kenna. Pub. Tiromoana Publishing, 2017.

If you are an animal lover this novel is heart rending stuff but even if you are not the treatment of dogs in puppy rearing farms will stir your stomach. It is a world wide problem and is alive and well in New Zealand too.

A string of sausages around a boy’s neck for a wearable arts school competition leads to an attack by a gentle labrador seeking food and brings 13 year old Caitlin alias Viola Vincent in contact with the puppy rearing industry.

With the help of a journalist friend Megan, Caitlin first helps with the labrador and then discovers the horror of the puppy farm in her area.

The plight of Sissy, a young dog who is held captive in appalling conditions with the sole purpose of producing puppies for sale, comes to Caitlin’s notice and she goes on the prowl to expose the ratbags who are mistreating dogs so badly.

Easy to read with alternate chapters in the puppy factory showing the horror of it all. Fortunately there is a happy ending.

For primary and intermediate readers. A worthwhile read from a former 20/20 TV journalist.

Charlie and his amazing tales by Dawn McMillan, illus. Ross Kinnaird

October 6, 2017 Comments off

CharlieCharlie and his amazing tales by Dawn McMillan, illus. Ross Kinnaird. Pub. Oratia Books, 2017.

Charlie is a dog in need of a new owner and has to sell himself. A young impressionable boy passes by sees the $10.00 sale price and is interested. Charlie sees his chance and rips off a series of amazing stories that only a shaggy dog could tell.

Charlie talks of being a spy, of saving people from flood and fire, of surviving hungry crocodiles and more. He is especially keen to pass himself off as toilet trained, neat and tidy, and having a good imagination.

The boy is sold but is it all true? Check out the ending to see if the boy parts with his $10.00.

Excellent fun from these two experienced writers and illustrators. The rhyming text is not forced and makes for easy reading aloud and the illustrations boost Charlie’s tall tales.. The dog sitting on the loo will bring a few laughs.

A fun publication for the school library and for parents to read to their children at home.

Categories: Humorous Stories Tags: ,

Finding Gobi. The True story of one Little Dog’s Big Journey by Dion Leonard

June 12, 2017 Comments off

finding gobiFinding Gobi. The True story of one Little Dog’s Big Journey by Dion Leonard. Pub HarperCollins, 2017.

Animal stories are close to children’s hearts, they evoke joy, apprehension and tears and this heart warming story is no exception.

Dion is a seasoned ultramarathon runner and during a 155 mile race across the Gobi desert he is accompanied by a little dog whom he names Gobi. After the race finishes he has become so attached to Gobi that he wants to take her/him (I am not sure what sex Gobi is) home with him.

Complications and drama begin. The costs of such an exercise are huge and the quarantine restrictions in China and in Scotland where Dion lives are prohibitive.

Dion tells his story and people start sending in funds to help bring Dion to Scotland and then Gobi goes missing. What has happened to the little dog? Has someone dognapped her/him for money? Is he/she still alive?

Dion has to go back to China to find her/him. Read the rest to see what happens.

I loved the story with Gobi also given a voice, but the story of the endurance race through the Gobi gripped me as well.

Easy to read with high appeal to reluctant readers from Primary school upwards even to adult and young adult. The story is amazing.

My Dog Mouse by Eva Lindstrom.

April 20, 2017 Comments off

my dog mouseMy Dog Mouse by Eva Lindstrom. Pub. Gecko Press, 2017.

If you have ever been able to count the number of teeth in a dogs mouth while it yawns then you are probably dealing with an old dog. Mouse is an old dog with thin droopy ears who is a little over weight and moves real slow.

The little girl with the androgynous hairstyle loves the old dog and always asks the owner if she can take him for a walk.

Wearing her flared green dress with black tights and her back pack she takes Mouse for a walk around the block, through the park, right turn and home again.

They both love it and are clearly comfortable together. This is the way it should be.

I wish Mouse was mine” the little girl says after dropping him off. The last page will put a lump in your throat. Don’t miss this one. Great for studying  pets and reading aloud to juniors.

The illustrations are laid back. Easy autumnal water colours accompanied with pencil etchings. The illustrations also make social commentary – the supermarket trolley left behind, the cigarette butts on the ground outside for smokers.

Superb publication.

A Different Dog by Paul Jennings.

April 8, 2017 Comments off

different dogA Different Dog by Paul Jennings. Pub. Allen & Unwin, 2017.

Fans of Paul Jennings will not be disappointed in this long short story. Just over 80 pages of writing that will keep you on edge and keep you guessing to the end.

The boy who narrates the story is known only as the boy. He never speaks but once owned a dog called Deefer whose fate is crucial to the story. The boy lives with his mother and they are very poor but both want to break that poverty thing.

Although the boy never talks you know what he is thinking. He has no friends and is harangued at school  but an adventure in which a vehicle leaves the road and kills the owner leaving another dog, is to change the boy’s life. Read it and see how.

The illustrations by Geoff Kelly in black and white pen are a critical part of this story

Superbly constructed by a master storyteller for reluctant readers of intermediate and secondary school age.

A Day With Dogs by Dorothee de Monfreid.

September 5, 2016 Comments off

day with dogsA Day With Dogs by Dorothee de Monfreid. Pub. Gecko Press, 2016.

This is  a picture book that is meant to be pawed over if you will excuse the pun. It is about 22 breeds of dogs who you have seen before in books by the same author  (a link is at bottom of this review).

The covers are thick cardboard and the pages are double thick so they can be turned often.

It starts with a profile of the house in which the dogs live and it takes the reader from the morning bathroom activities to bed at night. In between time we have the clothes they wear, town and country environments the things they learn at school like the alphabet and numbers 1 to 11, the food they eat and everything else too.

The dogs have names and you can follow each dog as they go through the day. The illustrations are big and bold in bright colours with the detail enough to have a child looking for ages. Each item or activity is named in block letters so that words can be learned.

I can’t tell you anymore its just great so go and get it. Pre schoolers and juniors will love it.

Categories: Picture book Tags: ,

Frankie Potts and the Sparkplug Mysteries by Juliet Jacha, illus. Phoebe Morris

June 21, 2016 Comments off

Frankie Potts sparkplugFrankie Potts and the Sparkplug Mysteries by Juliet Jacha, illus. Phoebe Morris. Pub. Penguin Random House, 2016.

Frankie Potts loves mysteries and in this first book of a new series for readers aged 7 years-10 years the mystery starts out when she finds a dog outside Ye Olde Sweet Shoppe.

The dog shows a lot of skills. he can dance, turn in circles, skate board and seems to understand everything humans say. Frankie calls him Sparkplug and pleads with her parents to keep him.

Enter Frankie’s grandma who is known as the Formidable Mildred and she seems to have an immediate rapport with the dog. Grandma also has many secrets and a secret tattoo.

When the circus comes to town many mysteries are revealed. At the end of each chapter Frankie sums up all the mysteries that have been created in a list. But the list is to change quickly.

Fantastic little story for newly confident readers beautifully illustrated by Phoebe Morris who captures the personality of all the characters with my favourite being the bully Ralph Peter-McGee. Isn’t it a mystery that so many bullies have hyphenated names.

Categories: Junior Fiction, Mystery Tags: