Woof by Spencer Quinn
Published by Scholastic in 2015
The story begins with Birdie Gaux and her grandmother getting a new dog. Bowser, the dog, provides us with a variety of details about the dog pound he’s in. The beginning of the story is a little tricky, because it’s told from Bowser’s perspective. Although as the story goes on, it adds an extra layer of detail because of the unique things that Bower notices.
Birdie’s grandmother is not the warmest and fuzziest human being on the planet. She runs a bait and tackle shop where Birdie helps out. They walk in and the employee working at the moment is asleep. Grammy notices that her prized stuffed marlin is missing. It seems all is lost, but Bowser and Birdie are on the case!
Birdie first wants to find out why this Marlin is so special. Grammy is being suspicously quiet, so Birdie begins poking around town. It turns out might be a treasure map hidden in the fish’s eye.
In a fast paced adventure, Bowser and Birdie try and get to the bottom of this mystery!
The Illustrated Compendium of Amazing Animal Facts by Maja Safstrom
Published by Ten Speed Press in 2016.
Fans of random facts, rejoice! This delightful book provides cute, quirky drawings of various animals. Each drawing is accompanied by one or two facts about that animal.
With this book, the author mentions “I hope you…learn something new and be reminded of the fascinating beauty of the animal world.”
Great for reluctant readers and would made a great coffee table book for your friends who love trivia.
Note: This book does reference mating once, and uses the word harem once.
FTC Required Disclaimer: I recieved this ARC from the publisher. I recieved no monetary compensation for this review.
Ellie’s Story: A Dog’s Purpose Novel by W. Bruce Cameron
Published by Tom Doherty Associates in 2015.
This story chronicles Ellie’s life from puppy to old age. Ellie is adopted by Jakob, a widower who trains her as a service dog. Ellie loves her purpose doing “work” with Jakob. He tells her to “find” and “show” him various people who hide from her. She is very good at finding all the people. Jakob challenges her more by having her find people without a scent.
Eventually, after she goes through training, she goes to the police station where she works as a search and rescue dog with Jakob. After Jakob is injured helping rescuing a small girl, she gets a new handler named Maya. Maya is different than Jakob. Ellie has to help Maya get in shape to be a dog handler.
This story does a great job of using the dog’s limited perspective to allow readers to make their own connections. Cameron also does a good job of describing the handler’s emotions and personalities. These distinct personalities shape their interactions with the dog. The dog even compares the two handlers and how they would work. This is an adorable book that all kids will love!