Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 3
What did you like about the book? Sparky is a sheepdog puppy who has a magic bone. When he bites the bone, stars twinkle in front of his eyes, he smells chicken, salmon and roast beef, and he is instantly transported to another place in the world. In this book, his travels take him to the Serengeti in Tanzania, and to Agra, India. In the Serengeti, Sparky meets a pack of African wild dogs and learns about the different animals on the plain. In India, he befriends a stray named Raj, and finds a magic lamp. This is a light, fast-moving story narrated by the dog. The simple language will appeal to readers newly comfortable with chapters, and the adorable black and white cartoon-like illustration are numerous and give real personality to the characters. The illustrator gives his dogs expressive eyes and prominent noses that are very endearing. Additional “Fun Facts” explain more about the geography and animals of Tanzania and Africa. Readers don’t have to have read others in the series to get the gist.
Anything you didn’t like about it? Nothing special about the writing, but the illustrations are adorable.
To whom would you recommend this book? This is like The Magic Tree House with a dog and a bone instead of children and a tree house. It’s for new readers who like doggy adventures.
Who should buy this book? Public libraries
Where would you shelve it ? Fiction
Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? No
Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Stephanie Tournas, Robbins Library, Arlington, MA
Date of review: November 20, 2016