Monday, November 26, 2012

One Dog and His Boy by Eva Ibbotson

Our three-year-old daughter named her favorite stuffed dog, "pee-pee." When we got a real dog we wouldn't let her name it that so she called her, "Peach." Although "pee-pee" would have been a better name. Thirteen years I scrubbed up after that darn dog and her pea-sized bladder. Argh! But I digress. Most people have dog stories and our family is no exception, so when I started this book which is about a boy named, Hal, who begs his parents for a dog, it was a walk down memory lane. And when I got to the part of the collie herding sheep, I chuckled as I remembered our border collie rounding up 12 laughing and whimpering and what's-going-on four-year-olds  in a small, tight circle at my daughter's birthday party. But back to this story...

Lonely Hal begs for a dog and when his rich parents say, "yes," he is over the moon. Only problem? His shallow parents have actually rented a dog named, Fleck, for the weekend. They think Hal will get tired of the dog after 3 days. Instead he bonds with the dog and loves him deeply. Not wanting to tell Hal that Fleck isn't for keeps, the parents sneak him back to the rental place while Hal is at the dentist. Hal comes home, discovers the trick and is devastated. And angry. Ooh... he is one mad dude. He goes to the rental place, takes Fleck and runs away with the help of a friend on an adventure where he discovers not only how to make dogs happy, but his parents as well.

This light story has a happy ending, exaggerated characters, predictable plot and will be liked by animal lovers.The adults are dumb and buffoonish in most cases, except the grandparents. There are quite a few unbelievable spots but it is all in good fun. The story was a little slow for me but I'm not exactly a patient reader. I did enjoy how it made me think of our doofy dog and how much I loved her and hated her peeing all over the place. If you are getting a dog, whatever you do, DON'T give it a name that starts with that piddly letter "p."

Reading Level 6.3
3 out of 5 Smileys

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