The Good DogBook - 2001
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Gr 3-6-A story with a decidedly canine point of view that will delight dog lovers. Jack's malamute, McKinley, is the top dog in Steamboat Springs, CO. His enemy is not a cat but a sad excuse for an Irish setter, Redburn. Sedate small-town life is interrupted by the appearance of Lupin, a she-wolf that urges dogs to free themselves from the tyranny of domesticated life. The noble McKinley tries to help her, and save a mistreated greyhound, but is misunderstood and relegated to the "dog house" by rather dim-witted humans. Communication between dogs and humans is awkward at best. There is a lot of dialogue among the dogs, among the humans, and between humans and dogs. The people come off as pretty stupid and McKinley is rather tolerant of the limitations of his "human pup" owner. It is confusing that sometimes McKinley seems to understand exactly what humans think and say and at other times professes ignorance. Still, fans of the film version of The Incredible Journey and Beethoven will lap this up as it has a very cinematic feel. Many scenes seem almost written directly for film. Readers will have no problem following the rapid, almost relentless action. John Erickson's "Hank the Cowdog" series (Viking) and James Howe's "Bunnicula" series (Atheneum) are similar in tone.-Marilyn Payne Phillips, University City Public Library, MO (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals
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