From School Library Journal
Grade 3–4—The canine members of the WOOF (Words of Our Friends) Society gather together to hear stories that have been collected from dogs all over the world throughout history. The goal: to prove that dogs are accomplished storytellers who have larger vocabularies than merely "sit" and "fetch." The 11 tales that follow cover many aspects of the animals' lives and are by turns touching, funny, and sad. In "Abu: The Dog Who Ruled Egypt," Abu is catered to by everyone in the Egyptian court, except for Miu, the Royal Cat. However, at night, when it is cold in the kennel, he welcomes the warm presence of the feline curled against his back. In other stories, a garbage disposal is pooch's invisible enemy; Tidbit appears at the Grand Ole Opry with Johnny Cash; a dog learns the importance of a moniker; and a mother dog nurses abandoned kittens. At the end of the evening, the members of WOOF disband, satisfied that they are literate, and look forward to next year when they will be joined by the cats of MEOW. The stories average four to five pages, a length that allows readers to cover one or two in a sitting. Black-and-white pencil-and-ink drawings appear on almost every page, revealing the personalities of each animal and illustrating the setting of their stories. Readers will enjoy seeing the world from a canine's perspective.—Terrie Dorio, Santa Monica Public Library, CA.
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From the trio who gave readers The SOS File (2004), this collection of short stories combines the bedrocks of mass appeal: dogs, humor, and short chapters brimming with illustrations. The stories include a mix of contemporary and historical, ranging from the Egyptian pharaohs to the Grand Ole Opry. Most pack a strong dose of laughs, such as "Mimi's Guide to Life," which includes tips on good places to hide after "bathroom indiscretion." Others are poignant, like the one about the dog that serves as a makeshift guide dog after a Civil War battle leaves his owner limping and blind. As a whole, the collection is slightly uneven. Weaker elements, such as an overlong introduction to the book's premise, are balanced by stronger ones, like the thrilling account of a dog that unwittingly captures a bank robber. Expressive, energetic pencil illustrations adorn nearly every page, breaking up the text for struggling or reluctant readers. Harold, Suzanne