Sunday, September 07, 2008

review: The Doghouse




The Doghouse written and illustrated by Jan Thomas. Harcourt, 2008 (978-0-15-206533-1) $12.95

The story begins on the end-pages, where Cow, Pig, Duck and Mouse are having a fun game of ball. But a kick sends the ball over their heads, right into.... The Doghouse! Suddenly it's dark, ominous birds fly through the sky, and lightning crashes, as the animals look around wide-eyed, wondering "Who will get it out?" "Cow will!" Mouse asserts with bravado, and despite a troubled "Moo?" Cow goes off after the ball... and doesn't come out. After volunteering the rest of his friends off, one by one, Mouse is left quite worried... but all ends happily, when he peeks in the window and discovers what's really going on inside the Doghouse.

I loved the freshness and vitality of this story. Thomas' colorful, boldly outlined illustrations do wonderful things with the expressive faces of the animals and the haunted-house atmosphere of the Doghouse, a perfect match for the increasingly silly text, as Mouse lists all the reasons that everyone else should go after the ball. "Pig is SMART. Pig is WISE. Pig is STINKY." (ages 3-7)

Other blog reviews:
A Year of Reading

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