Saturday, November 24, 2012

Spunky Tells All

How did I miss this one? Spunky Tells All, a beginning chapter book told from a dog's POV, was published in October 2011, yet somehow it slipped under my radar. I'm a sucker for dog books (as long as there is no chance of them dying. I have not and will not read Old Yeller.) and this one does not disappoint.

Readers familiar with Ann Cameron's previous books about Julian and Huey Bates (The Stories Julian Tells, among others) will rejoice to be reacquainted with the brothers, even though they aren't the focus. The book belongs to Spunky, the family's devoted dog whose snout gets out of joint when the Bates decide to adopt a cat. From his very first sniff, Spunky senses that Fiona reeks of Foolish. Fiona gets into one scrape after another, and Spunky, loyal dog that he is, bails her out of trouble, even if she does toss his kibbles on the floor and drink out of his water bowl. After a last, spectacular rescue, the two animals make peace and become friends.

Young readers will enjoy seeing the world from a dog's point of view. Like canines everywhere, the nose rules. When Spunky gets hold of one of Mr. Bates socks: "A sweet, ripe scent filled my nostrils. I opened my jaws. The sock went into my mouth. Thousands of tiny lights in my brain flashed in spangled colors." Spunky also has a unique way of describing things. The bathroom, for instance, is the White Pond Room.

Fair warning, for those who like fast-paced action, look elsewhere. The story takes a while to get underway and the first few chapters meander. But the wait is worth it. Once Fiona makes her appearance, Spunky has a worthy adversary and the story takes off.

Spunky Tells All
by Ann Cameron
illustrations by Lauren Castillo
Farrar Straus Giroux, 112 pages
Published: October 2011

1 comment:

  1. Spunky! I recently read this aloud to both boys and they loved it. There was a lot of laughter from everyone. Thanks for linking up! I pinned this up on my Early Chapter Books board (I'm trying to accomplish the Herculean task of making some lists for books at this reading level).