Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Book Review: Muddypaws (2 titles) - (dog, children)

Muddypaws and the Birthday Party, A Story about Birthdays, Balloons and Best Friends, by Deborah Chancellor, Parragon, 2009, 7.99$, 32 pages. (The sequel to Muddy Paws, by Moira Butterfield, Parragon, 2008, 5$, ages 4-8)

Muddypaws? What kind of a name is that for a dog?

What child doesn’t understand a birthday party to which the family pup is not invited? (It’s boring outside alone.)

How the day turns out, turns out to be a test of hope, faith, and love for both Muddypaws and her boy, Ben, who have always done everything together – until today, Ben’s birthday.

Adorable watercolors of this little Golden Retriever in a large sized book which beg the little reader to reach out and pet her may be glossed over by your child but the antics of those muddy paws will elicit giggles on nearly every page. Your child will easily identify with this little puppy’s always-muddy paws and also with the pup’s now 6 year-old boy, Ben.

Even the language is fun – “splashy-splashy,” and “a  smallish, normalish boy.”

What are those strange shiny things? Your child will know. And when the young guests are shown in costume but only from the waist down (a puppy’s eye view), your child will be able to tell you who they are – from princess to pirate and more. What does Mom carry that twinkles brightly? Young readers will know.

And the Muddypaws books are child-sized – big enough for a child to easily turn the pages for you.

The illustration of Ben walking Muddypaws on leash can spark conversations of loose leash walking, how to hold the leash safely and, since the book is by a British author, you may have to explain why Muddypaws likes sausages rather than dog biscuits! Or that British children dress up in costume to attend a birthday party (like we do on Halloween) – maybe your young reader would like to adopt that custom of costumes.
Muddypaws Goes to School, by Peter Bently, Parragon, 2011, 7.99$, 32 pages.

Muddy Paws and his boy Ben do everything together, except for baths and school., but, . . . one day Muddypaws gets out of the backyard and follows Ben to school (remember, they do everything together) - but the little pup can’t find his best friend.

How he searches for Ben everywhere and the fun-trouble he gets in to at school make for a laugh a minute for young readers and old, alike. Your child will love holding her breath with suspense, wondering how Ben and Muddy Paws will ever find each other!

Muddypaws finds that digging is hard work when he buries the flowers in the sandbox. He also finds paints and sandwiches and . . . .

Illustrated again by Simon Mendez but with a different author, Muddy Paws Goes to School has delightful primary color illustrations of school antics that will have your youngster laughing with glee! The words are a bit more fun (lollopped, scritch-scratch) but the plot is a bit less “plotty” than the birthday book.

I first read these books at the library, then went out and purchased them. I have now made a very difficult decision – to give them to my favorite three-year old. Oh, they will be hard to part with but will give much reading pleasure over and over again to Naomi who already knows "all about Golden Retrievers."

Note: Also available are Muddypaws' First Christmas (2012) and Muddypaws' New Friends (2013)

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