Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist and children's picture book author Berkeley Breathed crafts a remarkable, hilarious, and yes, even poignant celebration of "flawed dogs": "The bent and plain,/ The unbalanced bod,/ The imperfect people/ And differently pawed." At the core of this "2004 Catalogue of the Piddleton Dog Pound's Very Available Leftovers" is Heidy Strudelberg, "Garbo, Joan of Arc, and Mother Teresa of the nation's unwanted dogs: a reclusive warrior-saint of poundpups." Breathed reveals how Heidy was ousted from the high-falutin vanity dog breeding world when she awarded a muddy three-legged street mutt the Westminster Best in Show ribbon. Now, it seems, Heidy has retreated to the Vermont mountains to run the Last Chance Dog Pound, where defective dogs go for one more attempt at getting adopted. The bulk of Flawed Dogs
, once you've laughed your way through the introductions and formalities, is a gallery of pathetic pups with accompanying verses. A picture of an extra-long Dachshund startling the dishes right out of her mistress's hands, is captioned thus: "Heres Sal, it seems no one wants her./ Her ends will stroll off and wander./ A long doggie weenie/ Of noisy linguine/ Sal barks at her butt way down yonder." Dog lovers will be all in a tizzy to get their hands on this crazy, wonderful salute to blemished beagles and faulty foxhounds everywhere. (Ages 8 and older) --Emilie Coulter
From School Library Journal
Grade 2-5-A tongue-in-cheek parade of mongrels, mutts, and generally unadoptable dogs fills this catalog of the Piddleton "Last Chance" Dog Pound in Vermont. The introductory pages present a cast of heavily satirized human characters as well as a brief history of the shelter, "where the doomed and most desperate are sent- for a final try at getting adopted into a world that worships perfection." The following pages each feature a sad sack and often bizarre dog-too colorful, too gassy, too long, too hairy, likes to crawl up people's noses-and a brief rhyming verse that describes its unhappy past. The full-color acrylics are rendered with broad exaggeration, dark and slightly sinister tones, and a rubbery suppleness that tends toward the grotesque. A note at the end encourages readers to adopt at local shelters. Adults will best appreciate the satire though older children may enjoy the goofy humor and outrageousness of the poor unwanted pooches featured here.Marge Loch-Wouters, Menasha's Public Library, WI
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