Fireworks Night by Cam Higgins, illustrated by Ariel Landy

Fireworks Night by Cam Higgins, illustrated by Ariel Landy. Little Simon, 2021. 9781534495326

Rating:  1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4

Format: Hardcover

Genre: Animal fiction

What did you like about the book?  Bo, the adorable farm puppy who narrates the Good Dog series, faces one of any dog’s biggest fears – fireworks – in this 4th installment.  Bo and his best friend Scrapper explore the forest between their homes and find a great secret hideout, which they plan to use as a base for hunting for the monster Scrapper is convinced lives in the woods.  The canine duo becomes even more sure of the monster when they hear loud booms and see flashes of light.  They race to Bo’s house, where the mean barn cats King and Diva tell them what they’ve witnessed are actually angry stars.  Terrified, Scrapper runs away, while Bo is quickly reassured by his human siblings Wyatt and Imani that it was ‘fireworks.’  The trouble is, Bo still doesn’t understand what fireworks are, so he turns to the wise Nanny Sheep, who gives Bo and the new lambs a lesson on what to expect from the summer night sky.  When Bo’s family has a big cookout with all the neighbors, Bo and Scrapper have a great time scrounging for snacks, but when the fireworks begin, Scrapper bolts.  Bo realizes too late that he never told his friend what he had learned, and sets off on a daring rescue mission.

This charming outing takes a dog’s-eye view in celebrating the many joys of summer – rolling in the grass, endless games of fetch, cool evening breezes, babies dropping food at cookouts – even as it gently reminds readers to be mindful of our canine friends during fireworks shows.  Short, easy-to-read chapters coupled with frequent black and white illustrations make this winning series accessible to any dog lover, and it is really fun to watch Bo grow up.   

Anything you did not like about the book?  I’ve never heard of a dog who becomes accustomed to fireworks.

To whom would you recommend this book? Readers of previous books in the series will love it, and it’s a great choice for 1st and 2nd graders who are ready to graduate to chapter books from early reader series like Henry and Mudge, Charlie the Ranch Dog and other animal favorites, but not quite ready for Lily to the Rescue or the like. 

Who should buy this book? Public and elementary school libraries

Where would you shelve it?  Fiction 

 Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles?  No

 Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City:  Leigh Russell King, Lincoln Street School, Northborough, Massachusetts.

Date of review: August 22, 2021

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