Wednesday, January 28, 2015

EverythingDogBlog #187: "Lost and Found," The Budweiser SuperBowl Puppy Commercial

Best SuperBowl Commercial 2015 is Unleashed!
Budweiser does it again just in time for the SuperBowl - paired an adorable puppy with Clydesdale horses and a really nice guy, along with a tearjerker of a story line.
Well, all’s well that ends well and that goes for how this Bud commercial beat out the GoDaddy commercial (posted here yesterday).
See the Bud commercial here! (I even have friends who don’t drink but are going to buy some Bud because of this!)
Watch both commercials and compare. You won’t be seeing the GoDaddy commercial on Sunday but chances are you will cheer when the Bud one comes on!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Book Review: Primates (OT [not dogs] women scientists, ethology, jungle, chimpanzee, gorilla, orangutan)

Primates: The Fearless Science of Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Birute Galdikas, by Jim Ottaviani (First Second, 2013, 139 pages, $20)


Who is Who/Whom?

Do you get Jane Goodall and Dian Fossey mixed up? Can’t tell a chimp from a gorilla from an orangutan?

Well, fear no more! This comic book (graphic novel) for adults is so entrancing you will never again forget Jane or Dian or even Birute Galdikas. Jane is the Trailblazer; Dian was the Conservator; and Birute, the Ambassador.

A Graphic Novel for Nerdy Girls and Everyone Else!

Primates is a hardcover, fairly long comic book for adults that is also for kids, especially nerdy ethology-loving kids or kids who want to be veterinarians, especially girls, since Jane and Dian and Birute were all girls, once upon a time. And especially for kids who have a stuffed chimp or gorilla or orang.

With color drawings reminiscent of Gary Trudeau of Doonesbury fame, Maris Wicks depicts Goodall younger than Fossey (as she was), shorter and with blond hair. Fossey’s strong personality, on the abrasive side, is made perfectly clear - though the cause of her death is not mentioned. We remember Sigourney Weaver’s portrayal of Fossey in the movie Gorillas in the Mist, however.

Louis Leakey, the archaeologist, selected all three young women at separate times for different animals and countries, and found funding for them to live in far-away places observing an exotic species – something every young girl dreams of, as well as obtaining her PhD like our three intrepid scientists.

Primates is a fun, educational book with adorable front and back cover illustrations, especially for all those readers who don’t want to grow up.


Sunday, January 18, 2015

Best Children's Animal Book, 2014: Ivan

Ivan, The Remarkable True Story of the Shopping Mall Gorilla, by Katherine Applegate (Clarion Books, 2014, $17.99, 40 pages, ages 4-8) (illustrated by G. Brian Karas)


A Great Read

Any book by a Newbery medalist is bound to be a great read and Ivan by Katherine Applegate is no exception.

2014 Children’s Animal Book of the Year

This year, DogEvals decided to select two rather unusual titles for Children’s Dog Book of the Year. Our dog selection for 2014 is Sally Goes to Heaven by Stephen Huneck (reviewed here) but, since that subject matter is a great help for only a certain situation, we also selected a Children’s Animal Book of the Year - another stretch!

Wondrous Words and Playful Pictures

A children’s book is different from books for older readers in that its effectiveness depends on both the words and the illustrations: it is fairly rare that both are as exquisite as in Ivan.
Applegate received the Newbery Medal for her first book about Ivan, The One and Only Ivan, and, here, manages to tell a potentially sad story with sensitivity and hope. The soft-colored water colors and warmly-shaded drawings of Ivan along with the events and locations in his story are friendly enough to be almost cuddly. Either the words or the drawings alone would ‘make’ the book on their own merit but we are fortunate to have both, creating an exceptional book indeed.

The Story

This story of this shopping center gorilla appealed to this reviewer because I had attended college in Tacoma, Washington, during the time that Ivan was living there but had never heard of him (but then, college students are often too busy to live in the real world).

Cute little baby Ivan was ordered and bought like a pizza or “a pair of shoes,” captured (‘stolen’) in central Africa (probably the Congo) and brought to Tacoma to live with a family for a few years. He was treated like a human and even named by the winner of a Name the Gorilla contest.

When he grew too big, Ivan became a mere shopping center attraction, living a bleak existence in a concrete ‘room’ - for 27 years until people realized that all animals, even western lowland gorillas, need enrichment and stimulation, and to live with other gorillas in an environment mimicking their natural habitat.

Free Ivan!

Thanks to the National Geographic and The New York Times, people learned about the plight of poor Ivan and started a Free Ivan campaign that happily resulted in his being moved to ZooAtlanta to live with other gorillas in the grass he started his life in.

The young reader effortlessly learns about gorilla life in Africa in easy words and wondrous drawings: a portion of the proceeds are even donated to the Dian Fossey* Gorilla Fund.
Ivan is a book well worth reading and keeping. I envision future little stuffies named Ivan living long on teen beds, as well-loved as the Velveteen Rabbit!

*See Primates: The Fearless Science of Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Birute Galdikas, by Jim Ottaviani (First Second, 2013, 139 pages, $20), reviewed here next!


Saturday, January 17, 2015

Book Review: Sally Gets a Job (dog, children's book)

Sally Gets a Job, by Stephen Huneck (Abrams, 2008, 32 pages, $16.95, ages 6-9)


Sally Get a Job is brilliantly written and illustrated with infinite care. Where have I been not to have read The Sally Books before this?

Huneck’s love for the canine species is so evident in his words, his pictures and even in his dedications: to Sally (Sally Goes to the Beach) , to dogs everywhere and to the children who love them, to snow angels (Sally’s Snow Adventure).

Vermont is Home

Who hasn’t heard of The Dog Chapel in Vermont? Built by Stephen Huneck (1948-2010) on Dog Mountain, The Dog Chapel is a tribute to man’s best friend. Huneck was an artist depicting man’s best friend in numerous ways: one of which was to write and illustrate books for children - The Sally Books, starring Huneck’s black lab Sally, America’s favorite dog. No humans appear, not even children – only parts of humans, like hands for petting dogs and arms for driving them around. Because, after all, these are dog books (for all children who understand dogs).

How Does Huneck do it?

Huneck first drew the illustrations in crayon, then, for each color, he carved a different block of wood. After each block was inked with its one color, the blocks were stamped onto paper and allowed to dry. Painstaking finished and filled with love, these illustrations are a national treasure.

The Sally Values

Who does Sally meet and what new things does she experience? Each book is an adventure with Sally teaching her young readers how much fun it is to meet new friends and try new things in new places like on the farm, at the vet’s, at the beach, in the mountains, at a snow lodge – Sally even considers getting a job.

Charming and whimsical with a twist or two to keep the giggles coming, even from the adults, The Sally Books are books to keep. They are intensely child-centric and personal, told from a dog’s point of view so children understand.

The Story

In the morning, everyone leaves for work or school – everyone except Sally, that is. She thinks she really should get a job but which one? Maybe she could be an archeologist – she likes to dig. And studying nature is fun – nothing about it bugs her.  Sally also thinks washing dishes would be tasty (the way dogs clean the dishes, that is.) Maybe she should be a prognosticator – she can always tell when her family is about to arrive. She also contemplates being a . . . . .

Then Sally finally realizes she already has the best job of all! Can you guess what it is?

Read More About It: To take a chairside tour of Dog Chapel and Dog Mountain, click here. To listen to a 20-minute documentary about Stephen Huneck and his work, click here. His life was truly a work of art and of love: the documentary is A Love Story.

The Sally Books:
Sally Goes to the Beach, Sally Goes to the Mountains, Sally Goes to the Farm, Sally Goes to the Vet , Sally’s Snow Adventure, Sally Gets a Job and Sally Goes to Heaven
Sally’s Great Balloon Adventure
Sally at the Farm, Sally in the Sand
My Dog’s Brain, The Dog Chapel, and Even Bad Dogs Go to Heaven 

Next: DogEvals' other Best Book of 2014

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Book Review: Sally's Snow Adventure (dog, children's book)

Sally’s Snow Adventure, by Stephen Huneck (Abrams, 2006, 32 pages, $15.95, ages 4-8)


Sally and her new canine pals go saucering and snowboarding and snowshoeing and hot dogs go skiing (dachshunds, actually). Sally even finds going up the tow rope bumpy without skis.

Find out who the rescue dogs rescue in this fifth adventure of The Sally Books series – the best one yet and so creative.

I love Sally, America’s Favorite Lab

Sally lives in snow country on Dog Mountain in Vermont and love the winter snow. In Sally’s Snow Adventure, our favorite canine meets more new friends and tries more winter sports. Always willing to be a sport, our gal is fun to be with. Actually she has so much fun, she loses track of time. . . .

A New Classic – The Sally Books

Sally’s Snow Adventure is brilliantly written and illustrated with infinite care. Where have I been not to have read The Sally Books before this?

Behind the Scenes

Who hasn’t heard of The Dog Chapel in Vermont? Built by Stephen Huneck (1948-2010) on Dog Mountain, The Dog Chapel is a tribute to man’s best friend. Huneck was an artist depicting man’s best friend in numerous ways: one of which was to write and illustrate books for children - The Sally Books, starring Huneck’s black lab Sally, America’s favorite dog. No humans appear, not even children – only parts of humans, like hands for petting dogs and arms for driving them around. Because, after all, these are dog books (for all children who understand dogs).

Huneck first drew the illustrations in crayon, then, for each color, he carved a different block of wood. After each block was inked with its one color, the blocks were stamped onto paper and allowed to dry. Painstaking finished and filled with love, these illustrations are a national treasure.

The Incomparable Value of Sally

Who does Sally meet and what new things does she experience? Each book is an adventure with Sally teaching her young readers how much fun it is to meet new friends and try new things in new places like on the farm, at the vet’s, at the beach, in the mountains – Sally even considers getting a job.

Charming and whimsical with a twist or two to keep the giggles coming, even from the adults, The Sally Books are books to keep. They are intensely child-centric and personal, told from a dog’s point of view so children understand.


Next: Sally Gets a Job

The Sally Books:
Sally Goes to the Beach, Sally Goes to the Mountains, Sally Goes to the Farm, Sally Goes to the Vet , Sally’s Snow Adventure, Sally Gets a Job and Sally Goes to Heaven
Sally’s Great Balloon Adventure
Sally at the Farm, Sally in the Sand
My Dog’s Brain, The Dog Chapel, and Even Bad Dogs Go to Heaven

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Book Review: Sally Goes to the Vet (dog, children's book)


Sally Goes to the Vet, by Stephen Huneck (Abrams, 2004, 40 pages, $18.95, ages 4-8)

Ouch!

Sally, America’s lovable Lab, gets hurt playing with a cat (of all things) and has to go to the vet. She wonders what will happen but the vet is nice and it doesn’t hurt a bit. Sally even manages to make friends with the vet. Of course, being a lovable Lab helps.

Sally Goes to the Vet is for all kids, big and small, who may not want to go to the doctor but, seeing how brave Sally is, will change their mind. That’s what dogs are for, after all.

Read and see Sally’s first visit to the vet, a doctor for “cats and rats, dogs and frogs.” Sally has to get an X-ray but it doesn’t hurt.

Your child will be reassured and just maybe, her next visit to the doctor will be just as fear-free, especially if she can take brave Sally with her.

Dog Chapel, Dog Mountain

Author and illustrator and woodcarver Stephen Huneck loved dogs and it shows - in his illustrations, the words of his stories, and his incredible, world famous Dog Chapel at Dog Mountain, Vermont. The Dog Chapel is a tribute to man’s best friend. Huneck was an artist depicting his best friend in numerous ways: one of which was to write and illustrate books for children - The Sally Books - starring Huneck’s black lab Sally, America’s favorite dog.

How Huneck Worked

Huneck first drew the illustrations in crayon, then, for each color, he carved a different block of wood. After each block was inked with its one color, the blocks were stamped onto paper and allowed to dry. Painstakingly finished and filled with love, these illustrations are a national treasure.

Lessons with Sally

Who does Sally meet and what new things does she experience? Each book is an adventure with Sally teaching her young readers how much fun it is to meet new friends and try new things in new places like at the vet’s.

No humans appear in the Sally books, not even children – only parts of humans, like little hands for petting dogs and adult arms for driving them around. Because, after all, these are dog books (for all children who understand dogs).

Charming and whimsical with a twist or two to keep the giggles coming, even from the adults, The Sally Books are books to keep. They are intensely child-centric and personal, told from a dog’s point of view so children just naturally understand.

Next: Sally’s Snow Adventure


The Sally Books:
Sally Goes to the Beach, Sally Goes to the Mountains, Sally Goes to the Farm, Sally Goes to the Vet , Sally’s Snow Adventure, Sally Gets a Job and Sally Goes to Heaven
Sally’s Great Balloon Adventure
Sally at the Farm, Sally in the Sand

My Dog’s Brain, The Dog Chapel, and Even Bad Dogs Go to Heaven