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McDuff Saves the Day (McDuff Stories) Hardcover – June 3, 2002


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Hardcover, June 3, 2002
$42.24 $15.19
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 2 - 5 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - Kindergarten
  • Series: McDuff Stories
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Disney-Hyperion; 1 edition (June 3, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786806443
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786806447
  • Product Dimensions: 9.7 x 9 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #666,700 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

On a Fourth of July picnic with his human family, McDuff, a beloved but trouble-mongering white terrier, inadvertently allows "silent invaders" (namely, ants) to make off with the entire contents of the lunch basket. Luckily, McDuff has a way with strangers (and their picnic baskets), and in no time flat, he's finagled an invitation from a lonely older man to share his meal with the family.

Rosemary Wells and Susan Jeffers's series about the earnest pooch and his expanding community of friends and family harkens back to quainter days, when baby carriers were buckled into cars with leather straps and kind gentlemen didn't mind sharing their fried chicken and devil's food cake with strangers. Jeffers's inviting paintings of 1930s cars and fashions, and of course the little white dog himself, are warm and appealing. Readers who loved McDuff Goes to School and McDuff's New Friend will enjoy this summery entry in the series. (Ages 3 to 5) --Emilie Coulter

From Publishers Weekly

When a pack of ants invades owners Fred and Lucy's Fourth of July picnic, the Westie star finds the perfect solution in McDuff Saves the Day by Rosemary Wells, illus. by Susan Jeffers.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

Born in New York City, Rosemary Wells grew up in a house "filled with books, dogs, and nineteenth-century music." Her childhood years were spent between her parents' home near Red Bank, New Jersey, and her grandmother's rambling stucco house on the Jersey Shore. Most of her sentimental memories, both good and bad, stem from that place and time. Her mother was a dancer in the Russian Ballet, and her father a playwright and actor. Mrs. Wells says, "Both my parents flooded me with books and stories. My grandmother took me on special trips to the theater and museums in New York. "Rosemary Wells's career as an author and illustrator spans more than 30 years and 60 books. She has won numerous awards, and has given readers such unforgettable characters as Max and Ruby, Noisy Nora, and Yoko. She has also given Mother Goose new life in two enormous, definitive editions, published by Candlewick. Wells wrote and illustrated Unfortunately Harriet, her first book with Dial, in 1972. One year later she wrote the popular Noisy Nora. "The children and our home life have inspired, in part, many of my books. Our West Highland white terrier, Angus, had the shape and expressions to become Benjamin and Tulip, Timothy, and all the other animals I have made up for my stories." Her daughters Victoria and Beezoo were constant inspirations, especially for the now famous "Max" board book series. "Simple incidents from childhood are universal," Wells says. "The dynamics between older and younger siblings are common to all families."But not all of Wells' ideas come from within the family circle. Many times when speaking, Mrs. Wells is asked where her ideas come from. She usually answers, "It's a writer's job to have ideas." Sometimes an idea comes from something she reads or hears about, as in the case of her recent book, Mary on Horseback, a story based on the life of Mary Breckenridge, who founded the Frontier Nursing Service. Timothy Goes to School was based on an incident in which her daughter was teased for wearing the wrong clothes to a Christmas concert. Her dogs, west highland terriers, Lucy and Snowy, work their way into her drawings in expression and body position. She admits, "I put into my books all of the things I remember. I am an accomplished eavesdropper in restaurants, trains, and gatherings of any kind. These remembrances are jumbled up and changed because fiction is always more palatable than truth. Memories become more true as they are honed and whittled into characters and stories."

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By J. J. Hopkins on June 22, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This fourth of July book is a charming addition to the Mc Duff series. The activity of the little Westie is captured succinctly by the brilliant use of split scenes on some of the pages. For instance, the four scenes when Mc Duff couln't make up his mind where to sit, very clearly show the activities of the little dog. First he is in the front seat, then he is in the back seat crawling over the front seat, then he jumps out the door when the car stops, and in the last scent he is waiting for his water bowl. This is very clever artistry on behalf of the illustrator.It is the best in the series.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By M. Allen Greenbaum HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on January 30, 2005
Format: Hardcover
McDuff, the irrepressible White Highland Terrier, joins owners Fred, Lucy, and their little baby for a traditional Fourth of July picnic in this immensely satisfying book. Susan Jeffers' beautiful rich colors, blend of comic strip panels and large-format pictures, and attention to period accuracy convincingly portray the post-war patriotism, hope, and economic prosperity of the late 1940's and early 1950's. Her drawings evoke Norman Rockwell, Boy Scout magazines, and the woodblock pictures that graced early children's books, and they are a major factor in the book's huge appeal.

Rosemary Wells once again writes a McDuff series book with humor, warmth, and just a bit of mischief, qualities found in her famous "Max and Ruby" series (e.g., "Max's Dragon Shirt"). There's Lucy and Rick tomfoolery in the opening scenes as McDuff and Fred keep switching seats during the drive. Finally:

"Fred had to sit in the backseat with the baby and the chicken. 'He always gets the front seat in the end,' said Fred. McDuff stretched out in the front seat and fell into a sausage-squirrel dream."

Wells and Jeffers also pull off a clever perspective switch as we see McDuff's version of how the picnic disappeared. In McDuff's version, marauding ants "penetrated the picnic basket by the hundreds. In a few short minutes, the picnic was gone." We see five ants (only 5!) ferreting away a sandwich, and organized, orderly lines of ants absconding with cookies, candy, and cupcakes. Jeffers, as masterful with facial expressions as with large-scale compositions, shows McDuff conveniently looking away, trying hard to look innocent.

And just how does McDuff save the day? By eating the meatballs of neighboring picnicker Mr. DiMaggio.
Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mother of Two on August 21, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Both my kids have loved the McDuff stories and this is no exception, a cute and charming story that captures the personality of the little dog McDuff. But the illustrations in this book are a disappointment. The baby, for instance, though charmingly rendered in *McDuff and the Baby* and clearly represented as a girl in the text of this and the other McDuff stories in which she appears, is wearing a plaid shirt and overalls (of course girls can wear such things but it seems more to me like the illustrator rushed the job and switched the gender). The images of Lucy and Fred fall flat and fail to capture their personalities, so beautifully rendered in McDuff Moves In, McDuff Comes Home and McDuff and the Baby. The use of four small images per page in many cases, though not in itself a problem, seems to have led to quicker, simpler illustrations that add very little to the story. I still don't know, for example, what a slug-a-bug is, or what a handy-dandy-baby-emergency-travel-kit looks like...charming ideas in the text that are not carried into the illustrations. Jeffers is an excellent illustrator, as seen in her other work, but this project looks like it was rushed.

These complaints, however, are all my own, my kids love this book and all of the McDuff books. It was among my daughter's favorites from ages 2-4 and is now among my son's favorites (he is 2 1/2).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By C. Merrell on July 4, 2007
Format: Hardcover
As with all 'McDuff' stories, this book is very well drawn, and a child could tell it to an adult based on the pictures in the book, after the child had heard the story a few times. It is charmng, friendly telling of a fun family outing. All McDuff books would be good in daycares for story time!
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Format: Hardcover
I really enjoyed reading this book to 16 preschoolers at the Festus Public Library in Festus, Missouri. As a storytime book, McDuff Saves the Day makes for a fun and entertaining read. The artwork and story are beautiful and creative. The plot is charming, simple and realistic, giving McDuff (a fluffy white Westie) a perfect opportunity to be the cute dog that he is. This is my first McDuff story and I thouroughly enjoyed it. All dog lovers should have this in their children's book collection.
In this adventure, McDuff celebrates the Fourth of July with his family: Lucy, Fred and the baby. A perfect day for a picnic turns into a series of mishaps that leaves the family without a picnic and a cranky baby. By the end of the story, McDuff has found a way to have a picnic and make a new friend. Fred still complains though, because McDuff always gets to ride in the front.
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By Joyce on June 17, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A fun story, but a little bit dated. I had hoped to read this story to preschoolers, but I think kindergarteners or first graders would better understand the subtle humor of the story. Also, due to the dating of the pictures, children a little bit older may be more ready to discuss the similarities and differences of family life in the 1950s versus today.
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