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Albert, the Dog Who Liked to Ride in Taxis Hardcover – January 1, 2004

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Albert, an urban dachshund, has a real weakness for taxis. This yen is limited to rides with his human mistress--until the day he sneaks into a taxi on his own. It's a slippery slope from there. Soon he's hopping taxis all over town, planning adventures to the Kalahari Desert, California, and beyond. Eventually Albert winds up at the airport and discovers "astonishing airplanes" that look like giant white birds and his allegiance to the earthbound yellow cars is challenged.

Pierre Pratt's wonderful, thick paintings work hard to make up for the sometimes bewildering, often overwhelming swaths of Cynthia Zarin's text. A ruthless editor could pare this story down to a charming dog-in-the-city tale; as it is, there are too many gratuitous characters and tangents for a young reader's plot-driven mind. A better bet would be Anne Gutman and Georg Hallensleben's Gaspard and Lisa series (Lisa in New York, Gaspard on Vacation, etc.). Still, for children who don't mind just going with the flow, following a high-strung pooch all around Manhattan, this is an entertaining and imaginative little romp. (Ages 4 to 8) --Emilie Coulter

From School Library Journal

Grade 1-3--Most of the time, Albert the dachshund and Mrs. Crabtree walk the streets of New York City, but they occasionally take taxis, and thus is born the dog's simple pleasure. One day, he sneaks into a cab alone, but is soon dumped back onto the sidewalk by the driver. Next, he enters a car with a "very old lady" who offers to take him on an adventure. Though interested, he jumps out of the window and begins a third escapade with a couple of airport-bound boys. When they arrive at the terminal, the hyperactive pooch is overwhelmed by travel possibilities, until he runs into Mr. Crabtree, who is returning from a business trip, and the man takes his pet home in a cab (though now Albert daydreams of airplanes instead of automobiles). Young urbanites will relate to scenes of Central Park and the Brooklyn Bridge, but may not share Albert's delight in traveling alone and being lost in a big city. The lengthy text requires an audience of independent readers; young listeners will have trouble following the jumpy narrative with its confusing character cameos. Pratt's witty illustrations, rendered in quick broad strokes and vibrant washes of color, aptly reflect the bustling vitality of the city but are not enough to elevate Albert to more than a secondary purchase.--Mary Ann Carcich, Hampton Bays Public Library, NY
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 660L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Atheneum/Richard Jackson Books; 1st edition (January 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0689847629
  • ISBN-13: 978-0689847622
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 0.4 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,243,511 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Jeffrey Weiner on November 5, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This books is just about right for 4-7 year olds, although it can be a little long for today's attention span. My 4 year old barely made it through the middle of the book, but held on and really liked the end. This is a great book for kids if they're interested in dogs, New York city, taxis, or all of the above.
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Format: Hardcover
A great story about how taking risks and losing ourselves in the moment are how we learn about who we are. Experience can be terrifying to contemplate but it is necessary to the health of our spirit. We must take that final leap towards our dreams so that perhaps we can discover the passions that make life wonderful.

The illustrations vibrant and clearly related to the story (my biggest pet peeve in children's picture books is when I'm left scratching my head as to how the images pair with the words.) The story is a little dense for very young children but I think the art is so engaging that it is still worth sharing with kids too young to absorb the full story.
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