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Author: Kathryn Lasky

Illustrator: Mitch Vane

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Publisher: Charlesbridge Publishing, Inc.,

Material: hard cover

Summary: Hound and Poodle learn how much they like each other's company in spite (and maybe because) of their differences. In the "Beauty" story, Poodle gets all dressed up and eats out but realizes it is not as much fun when Hound is not there. In "Starry Night," Hound gets bothered by Poodle's questions and talking while he looks at the stars. He finds that listening to her is more fun the looking at the stars by himself. In the last story, "The Garden," they work together and plant a beautiful garden. This is an illustrated easy reader with three stories.

Type of Reading: illustrated chapter, learning to read, transitional reader, read aloud book

Recommended Age: read together: 5 to 8; read yourself: 7 to 10

Interest Level: 5 to 9

Reading Level: 3.8

Age of Child: Read with and by a 5-year-old girl.

Young Reader Reaction: I picked this for my daughter, but when we got home from the library it was the first book she picked up to read! She laughed when Poodle and Hound got bothered by each other and said she was happy when they end up spending time with each other. She liked how Poodle gets all dressed up by getting her hair done. She thought it was nice that Poodle missed Hound and went home to spend time with him and was happier. She even told her Dad about the book when he got home!

Adult Reader Reaction: I enjoyed the interaction of the two characters. It was almost like a brother and sister who think they would rather not spend time together but end up seeing that being together is more fun then being alone. I was happy that she liked it so much.

Pros: Everyone can enjoy these stories about being kind to each other. Kids who want consistence will like having stories with the same characters.

Cons: None.

Borrow or Buy: Borrow, at least. Libraries will want to buy this book, as it is fun to read with younger kids and is a nice selection as a transitional reader.


Educational Themes: This is a book about sharing and friendship. Kids can see that friends accept you as you are - when you talk too much, or even if you don't like the same things. You can turn this into more "personal" discussions by engaging kids in discussions about their likes/dislikes.

Notes: The Reading Tub requested a publisher donation for this title.

Literary Categories: Fiction - animal characters, easy reader series, friendship, short stories

Date(s) Reviewed: July 2009

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