Saturday, October 25, 2014

Be Careful What You Sniff For (Magic Bone #1) by Nancy E. Krulik, Sebastien Braun (Illustrations)

This follows the same vein as the Katie Kazoo series. The realistic story has a magical item that transforms the main character in a unique way. While Katie Kazoo has more of a Freaky Friday magical twist, this one has a rambunctious puppy that gets transported by a magical bone to another location. He bites his bone and ends up in cheer-i-o London. Except everyone is crabby and the cute pooch, Sparky, gets tossed into the dog pound with a bunch of bully bulldogs. He makes friend with a small dog like him and they plan their escape. While I'll get this series for my library I know I'll forget about it. Nothing quite stands out for me. The author does give Sparky specific traits such as him being a hyperactive puppy that uses three-word repetitions that might make it a better read aloud. It reminded me of Mo Willems, "Let's Go For a Drive" (drive, drive, drive-y, drive, drive) which kids love as a read aloud.

The animals have human characteristics and can communicate with each other but are limited in how they can communicate with their human owners. This adds humor and frames the story as the human owner of Sparky only appears at the beginning and end of the story. Notes at the end explain different places in London that Sparky explored. The facts are a good way to give some nonfiction facts in a fiction story. The illustrations should help the reader recognize Buckingham Palace and Big Ben and is a good intermediate chapter book series. Fans of some toilet-bowl humor will think Sparky's peeing at inappropriate times and puking on the floor funny. Can't tell you how many squirts I find in the library howling over books that have this specific type of tickle-your-bones humor. Or in this case it might tickle-their-magic-bone. Light, fun fare.

3 Smileys 

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