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Buster Hardcover – September 1, 2003

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 2
  • Lexile Measure: 420L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR); 1st edition (September 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805062793
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805062793
  • Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 8.3 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #670,785 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews Review

Ahh, it’s the good life for Buster, a red, pointy-nosed dog. He has his own dishes (with his name painted in curvy letters), a big grassy yard, an in-and-out flap on the back door, and "Brown Shoes," who takes Buster to the park any time he wants. But on the day Brown Shoes brings home a big box--which does not contain sausages or fancy French cheeses, as Buster hopes--life takes a dramatic turn for the worse. Enter Betty, a fluffy white kitten, who doesn’t seem to realize that Buster is scared of cats. When she starts purring and winding around Buster’s legs, he freezes: "Buster was terrified. He was afraid to move. 'If I ignore her,' thought Buster, 'maybe she’ll go away.'" Of course, she doesn’t, so Buster does. Running off to a park across town, Buster has a lovely day... until he realizes he has no idea how to get back home again. Can you guess who comes to the rescue?

Denise Fleming’s distinctive artistic style, as seen in such earlier picture books as The Everything Book and Alphabet Under Construction , uses pulp painting to create lush, rich pages thickly covered in color and texture. The picture book is divided into six titled "chapters," giving younger readers a feel for early chapter books, and includes a map of Buster's route home. Charming--highly recommended! (Ages 4 to 7) --Emilie Coulter

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 2-Buster, a red-coated pooch, has everything he wants out of life, including personalized food dishes and a comfortable backyard with all the amenities. However, when his owner brings home a fluffy white kitten, the dog's world falls to pieces. No matter how hard Betty tries to make friends, Buster remains terrified of her. Fed up, he slips under the fence, finds his way to an unfamiliar park, and enjoys a peaceful, feline-free afternoon. Finally ready to head home, he realizes that he is lost and experiences a few frightening moments until Betty comes to his rescue. After receiving an affectionate welcome from the kitten, Buster realizes that he has "-everything he could ever want-and more." Fleming's trademark handmade-paper artwork is awash with vibrant colors and dazzling details. Body language and expressive facial features establish the personalities and reflect the emotions of the characters. A mix of double-page pictures and smaller vignettes sets the scene and keeps the action moving quickly. An eagle's-eye map of Buster's route home will have children following each twist and turn. Divided into six titled sections, this picture book has the pace and feel of a beginning chapter book. The format, as well as the use of repetitive language, makes this heartwarming tale a good choice for emergent readers, while the eye-catching illustrations make it perfect for either groups or one-on-one sharing.
Joy Fleishhacker, formerly at School Library Journal
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

Denise Fleming won a Caldecott Honor for In the Small, Small Pond. She is the author and illustrator of eighteen picture books, including Buster.

Q: Where did you grow up?
A: I grew up in Toledo,Ohio, where I live still. I am a midwestern girl.

Q: What is your earliest memory of writing/drawing?
A: It seems like I was always writing and drawing. I wanted to share my ideas from the beginning. A bit bossy am I.

Q: What inspired you to write/illustrate your first book?
A: I started collecting picture books in art school. I was crazy about the whole picture book format. I realized, as I was sharing books with my daughter, that making books is what I needed to do.

Q: What are your hobbies and interests besides reading and books?
A: I work in clay, create art from tin cans, and make art dolls. Right now I am working on combining all three media. I also dye and paint fabric for the dolls.
Planting flowers and painting the outside of my house and studio is what I am busy doing right now.

Q: What one or two words of advice would you give for young authors/illustrators?
A: Experiment with different styles and media.

*From Macmillan's Denise Fleming page.

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5 stars
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See all 8 customer reviews
This is a funny but warm story about jealousy overcome.
Whimsical and bright illustrations make this a fun book just as charming in the visual aspect.
This story is great for younger children and older children, alike.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on August 11, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Buster is a dog who is used to being the center of attention -- until the introduction of a kitten named Betty. Suddenly, Buster's happy days of engraved dishes, his own radio, and the ever-adoring "Brown Shoes" is turned upside down and he leaves his "Betty infected" home. At first the outside world is refreshing and gratifying -- but then night falls and Buster finds himself scared, alone, and unable to find his way back home. That's when Betty (perched in a tree across town) serves as a beacon for Buster to find his way back. From then on, Betty and Buster are the very best of friends. Denise Fleming's unique illustration style (she pours colored cotton pulp through hand-cut stencils) is as unique as her story of Buster and Betty is original and very highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By M. Gunther on November 23, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I always get books from the library to see if my kids will like them before I buy them. Needless to say, Buster is now part of our permanent collection. Our kids (ages 2 & 3) love the easy to follow story with a sweet message, and the colorful illustrations. We have also discovered Buster on tape, so the kids can read along with the tape and that's a huge hit - we have been listen to nothing but Buster for the last three weeks. Great kids' book!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Crease in the Page on August 5, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My kids love Buster so much that when I asked what the wanted to get their cousin for Christmas, they chose Buster. I guess they really identify with the jealousy he feels toward the cat and the fear he feels when he's lost. They squealed with joy about the ending. From an educational standpoint, I like the book for the map on the last page--good for early map reading skills. I also explained the artist's techniques to the kids (I learned from the back dust-jacket flap), and we discussed how much work each picture would require--I thought that might help them learn about perseverance.
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Format: Paperback
Buster, a pointy-nosed red-brown dog is afraid of cats, but Betty, the newcomer in the house, is not afraid of dogs. Betty tries his patience by doing whatever she thinks might attract his attention. Still he ignores her. In desperation Buster runs away…and gets lost. Thanks to Betty, he finds his way home. Young children will love the way she helps him and how the two become great friends.

-Hope Irvin Marston, author of EYE ON THE IDITAROD - AISLING'S QUEST.
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