Friday, May 28, 2010

Dog stories

Finding SusieFinding Susie by Sandra Day O'Connor, illustrated by Tom Pohrt. Knopf, 2009.

In this picture book memoir, the end papers feature photos of Sandra Day O'Connor as a child  and give the reader a view into the childhood of the first female member of the Supreme Court of the United States.

Sandra loved animals and collected many wild creatures as a child. She adopted 
a tortoise named Hercules, a rabbit named Daisy, a coyote that she dubbed Slim Pickins, and a baby bobcat called Bob.  She had to release all of her pets because they were wild animals and could not thrive in captivity for long.  When she is given a little white dog named Susie, she finally owned a pet she would not have to give up.   

Pantaloon (A Golden Classic)Pantaloon by Kathryn Jackson, illustrated by Steven Salerno, 2010

Tawny Scrawny Lion (Little Golden Book)This story has a nostalgic feel. A French poodle named Pantaloon is thwarted in his desire to become a baker but when the owner of the bakery is injured and cannot work, Pantaloon swings into action and saves the day.

Kathryn Jackson is well known for her Little Golden Classics, The Tawny Scrawny Lion and The Saggy Baggy Elephant.  Steven Salerno's fluid retro-ish illustrations do evoke the style of 1950s Paris and the joie de vivre of a Parisian poodle making his mark in the pâtisserie

Stella is a Star: With CDStella is a Star by Bernadette Peters, paintings by Liz Murphy, Blue Apple Books, 2010

Bernadette Peters is well known Tony Award winning actress. This is her second book.  She is an animal lover and her own dog inspired this story.  Ms Peters  is a celebrity author so it is not a  surprise to read that the character, Stella "learns the lessons of dedication and practice, self-acceptance and most important that it's okay to be yourself."   (How do we know it is a celebrity book? It teaches a LESSON.)  Still the CD recording of Peters reading the story and singing "Stella's Song" is enjoyable and well produced with sound effects and musical bridges. I recommend the CD because she really is a gifted performer!

The proceeds from the sale of Peters's book benefit Broadway Barks an animal adoption charity

Please Take Me For a WalkPlease Take me for a Walk by Susan Gal, Knopf, 2010

Cesar Millan, call your office. This book is for you. 

This jaunty little dog begs to be taken for a walk and details all the things he/she is going to see and do around the house, out on the street and on the town.  Fans of the Dog Whisperer program know that Millan advocates daily walks to improve the mental and physical health of dogs and their owners.  Big backyards don't replace a daily walk.

Who could deny this adorable little canine?  The dogs eyes look right into the reader's and evoked such  sympathy in me that I almost grabbed a leash and went looking for a dog to walk because I don't own one right now.  Gal's artwork is a palette of wonderful green and brown hues and depicts a lively multicultural neighborhood.  Enchanting! 

Hip Hop DogHip Hop Dog    Words by Chris Raschka, pictures by Vladimir Radunsky, Harper Collins, 2010

Chris Raschka continues his offerings of picture books that celebrate music in all its forms and styles.  This dog has the cap, he has the moves, he has the smarts.  This is a hip hop rapper dog with attitude but sadly, no home.
I come free , but no one needs me.
No fine biscuits, no cute collar,
When I'm hungry, no one feeds me.
I'm the saddest and the baddest, and the baddest and the saddest

His spirit is undaunted though as his rap lyrics spiral into the page:
I'm the coolest,go to school-est, not a fool-est, doggies rule-est. I'm the quickest tha the slickest, tocky-tic-est, finger lick-est. I'm the brightest, no need to fight-est, pure delight-est, y'know I'm right-est. I'm the Hippy Hippy Hippy Hippy, Hip Hop Dog.
 Here's hoping he finds a loving home but if he doesn't, we think that he will be ok.

1 comment:

Ms. Yingling said...

I have to get a copy of Please Take Me For a Walk and use it to guilt my children into walking the dog more. No wonder the dog loves me best-- I even bring her books to read.