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Wag a Tail Hardcover – April 1, 2007
This month's Book With Buzz: "The Lying Game" by Ruth Ware
From the instant New York Times bestselling author of blockbuster thrillers "In a Dark, Dark Wood" and "The Woman in Cabin 10" comes Ruth Ware’s chilling new novel, "The Lying Game." See more
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From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 2—An assortment of hip city dogs and their owners take a walk to the Farmer's Market. These proud Bow Wow School graduates celebrate their good behavior as they struggle to behave before heading off for a romp in the park. Told through the canines' thought bubbles, this simple story has a rhythmic, jazzy quality that begs to be read aloud. "Wag a tail./Wag a tail./We know how./Wig Wag Zig Zag/Bow Wow Wow." Collages composed of brightly colored buttons and scraps of fabric and handmade paper stand out on vivid green backgrounds. The final endpaper shows portraits of the pups introduced with their name and characteristics ("Keep an eye on Spike, he needs more obedience training"). With polish and pizzazz, this well-designed package pays tribute to dogs and life in the city. An author's note provides special behind-the-scenes details about the illustrations.—Julie Roach, Cambridge Public Library, MA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Paper cutouts conjure up a cheerful dog-centered world in Ehlert's latest book. She fashions a straightforward plot--dogs go to a farmer's market with their owners in tow, then roam free at a dog park. The text is written simply, and beginning readers may enjoy giving it a try. It's all dog talk from the start: "Ha Woo. / How are you? / We are cool / We never drool. / We're graduates of the Bow Wow School." The main attractions are the sweet figures--canine and human--that move through the solid blocks of green in Ehlert's urban landscapes. The dogs celebrate the ordinary pleasures of companionship and movement, especially in the last pages, where they do backflips and somersaults above and around each other. And in their many colors and shapes, the dogs show what clever use can be made of paper, paint, buttons, and fabric. An author's note lets readers in on where she got the materials for this book and how she put them together "like a quilt." Abby Nolan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Top customer reviews
We read this book every. single. night. because my daughter loves it so much. She says Bow wow! and woof! along with the dogs. She points out her favorite vegetables at the farmer's market. She does get upset each time the dogs are kicked out of the market, but the story ends happily, and she is mollified. One of the dogs looks like our dog, and so she seems to think the book is about our dog.
The language of the book is simple and rhyming. I would grab it as soon as your child is old enough to handle books other than board books.
As fitting for a 1-to 3-year-old audience, "Wag a Tail" doesn't suffer from too much plot. In fact, nothing much actually happens. Dogs go to the market. They proclaim "We are cool." They break some rules. They "never drool." At the end of the "story," they frolic in a dog park, outdoing one another with silly dog tricks.
So what's so special about "Wag a Tail," then? The illustrations. They are vibrant, stunning, and child-friendly. Ehlert uses fuzzy felt-like collage to create her dogs and their passive, non-speaking people. She chose deep, jewel-like colors on a background of green; color choices unique in the preschool market. When I read this aloud to a six-year-old, he kept touching the pages, saying "this book looks like it should be lumpy." It sure does.
Ehlert's dogs, though created from pieces of felt and bits of button, are lifelike and recognizable. (All sixteen dogs are afforded a short bio on the inside back cover. My favorite is Lucky, the Scottish Terrier.) The dogs are mischievous , brazen, and ready for fun. Any toddler would approve.
"Wag a Tail" is the type of book you'll catch your toddler browsing through (maybe upside down?) on her own in a corner. Don't miss it. "Bow wow wow."
It is a shame that the author did not spend as much time on the words as they did on the art (which is nice)
It seems many people are getting into childrens books just to pump them out with little thought as to the content. At a MSRP of $16 it seems a little overpriced. If you can get it for under $3 fine, but it is NOT a must have book.