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Ragweed's Farm Dog Handbook Hardcover – August 25, 2015
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From School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—There are many responsibilities for a farm dog. But new dogs shouldn't be nervous—they have the experienced Ragweed to give them guidance on how to be successful. His list of do's and don'ts can be tricky and sometimes go against a canine's instincts. For instance, don't wake up the farmer, don't sit on the chickens' nests, and don't eat grass like the cows. Ragweed is pretty cunning and has learned to use the other farm animals (and the farmer) to his advantage. He points out that if you can act like you are chasing a fox when you are running from the chickens' nests, then you will earn an extra reward from the farmer. And, of course, you have to share that reward with the fox. Ragweed waits to chase the sheep when the farmer is away so that he won't get in trouble for having fun. This book is very funny, with lots of energy and silliness. Kennedy reports the facts of the farm dog life and turns reader expectations upside down. The text is brief and full of emphasis. The depictions of Ragweed in his everyday life are just as funny as his thoughts. The setting is bucolic until Ragweed, with googly eyes and lolling tongue, enters. Then Ragweed chases, races, and flies through the air. VERDICT This pup's irrepressible energy will win over plenty of readers and give them a fun look at life on a farm.—Susan E. Murray, formerly at Glendale Public Library, AZ
The structure, repeated throughout with clever variations (eating grass like a cow means throwing up a biscuit, “and you can eat that one again”), makes Kennedy’s hero more endearing with every page turn.
Buoyant, fresh illustrations in acrylic paints are filled with bright green grass, flowers, fields, and farm animals in motion. But it's Ragweed who is the heart of this delightful story, with his long snout and expressive, bulging eyes...Give that Ragweed an extra biscuit, or just hand over the whole box. A star deserves his just rewards.
The repetition, the page turn, the dive into the forbidden will all be a treat for young audiences, and there’s a plunge into mirthful grossness that will detonate amid a group of kids like a hilarity bomb...Kids won’t be able to get enough of this goofy dog who’s smart enough to know on which side his biscuit is buttered.
—Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
From its delicious voice, enticing refrains and satisfying conclusion, Ragweed’s Farm Dog Handbook is one of those deceptively simple but perfectly constructed picture books that should be part of every home—country or city. To paraphrase Ragweed, “You’re going to love this book.”
This delightfully subversive guide to being a farm dog will have readers cheering for its scrappy hero, Ragweed, who lives to extract dog biscuits from the farmer...The acrylic paints have a vibrancy and lopsided jolliness that perfectly fit this zany tale, which also gives readers a clear overview of farm animals. Ragweed’s tips and antics are a treat.
This book is very funny, with lots of energy and silliness...This pup’s irrepressible energy will win over plenty of readers and give them a fun look at life on a farm.
—School Library Journal
This delightful farm dog charms readers; Ragweed himself is endearing as a scruffy b&w dog with saucer eyes, a long snout, and two front teeth. The bright colors, large brushstrokes, and wary animals in the author’s illustrations complement Ragweed’s happy-go-lucky daily schedule. Readers will chuckle their way through these farm dog rules.
—School Library Connection
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Had to buy him the book and 2 other 1-5 year olds on my list.