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More Dog Days

Have you ever wondered why hot summer days are called "dog days?" The name comes from the ancient belief that Sirius — the brightest star in the night sky (also called the Dog Star) — was the cause of hot weather. Dogs know what to do when the temperature rises — curl up in a shady spot. And what’s better for kids on a hot day than to curl up with a cool book? From joke-cracking hens to a letter-writing dog, you'll meet some fetching characters, who will be remembered long after the dog days of summer have passed.

Quotable Quotes: The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you'll go. -- Dr. Seuss

Animal Crackers Fly the Coop

By: Kevin O'Malley
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

A comic hen wants only to make jokes but is misunderstood by the farmer and so she strikes out on her own. Before long she meets other humor-loving but underappreciated animals: a dog, a cat, and a cow. Like the familiar Bremen Town musicians, this quartet foils a group of robbers and opens their own comedy club. Bad puns and silly jokes are sure to cause groans and laughter in this silly parody.

Fleabag

By: Jessica Stern
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

A dog with no name and no home meets a boy with a ball but no dog. Boy and dog play in the park every day until one day the little dog — a small fleabag — helps the boy and finds a home. Loose lines and bright colors convey city activities and the affectionate relationship between child and hound and ultimately, a warm family.

Help Me, Mr. Mutt! Expert Answers for Dogs with People Problems

By: Janet Stevens, Suzanne Stevens
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Mr. Mutt responds to canine concerns, writing practical advice letters. He shares his Dogwood home with The Queen, a tiara-wearing cat who adds her distinctly feline advice on her own embossed stationery. The result is wildly different perspectives, lots of laughs, and action suggested by the correspondences and extended by realistic, outrageous, and very funny illustrations.

Hot Rod Hamster

By: Cynthia Lord
Illustrated by: Derek Anderson
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

A junkyard bulldog helps a small hamster build his racer to compete in a hot rod happening. The small rodent is asked to choose from a range of components as the car comes together — and ultimately takes the prize. Snappy language and repetition combine with engaging illustrations as the smallest critter wins the race to become the Hot Rod Hamster.

I'm the Best

By: Lucy Cousins
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

A brown dog in colorful checkered pants is highly competitive, claiming to be the best and that he can do things better than his friends. Eventually, his friends prove him wrong but assure the deflated dog that he's still the best at having lovely fluffy ears. Child-like illustrations exude the joy and difficulty of friendship in which readers will likely recognize themselves.

Little Pink Pup

By: Johanna Kerby
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

When a runt pig named Pink was pushed out by his litter mates, he was placed with a mother dog who was caring for puppies of her own. The story of Tink, the patient dachshund mom, and her pup's acceptance of Pink is documented in easy text and full color photographs. It is based on one family's experience on their West Virginia farm.

Name That Dog!

By: Peggy Archer
Illustrated by: Stephanie Buscema
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Happy puppies,/scrappy puppies… each one needs a name… and ideal names from A to Z are presented in 26 descriptive poems. Aspen is the color of leaves in fall, Melody likes to sing, and Zipper loves to run, zipping everywhere. These poems are wonderful to read aloud to one child or a whole group.

Say Hello

By: Rachel Isadora
Age Level: 0-3
Reading Level: Pre-Reader

Mama, Carmelita, and their dog Manny greet people in their diverse neighborhood as they walk to see Abuela Rosa. Everyone says "hello" but in their own language — ranging from Italian and French to Hebrew and Arabic to slang American greetings. It is Manny's "woof," however, that is universal. Textured illustrations make Carmelita’s community familiar and accessible.

The Patterson Puppies and the Midnight Monster Party

By: Leslie Patricelli
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Zack, Andy, and Penelope slept all night but not Petra. No matter what her siblings suggested, Petra was afraid of monsters. When they meet a three-eyed monster with four arms, Petra discovers that the monster is as fearful as she is. Together they enjoy a monstrous good time until the pups' parents carry them off to bed. Naive illustrations extend the familiar theme and its cozy resolution.

Which Shoes Would You Choose?

By: Betsy R. Rosenthal
Illustrated by: Nancy Cote
Age Level: 0-3
Reading Level: Pre-Reader

No matter if Sherman is hiking, skating, taking a walk on a rainy day, or visiting grandma, he has just the right footwear. Readers are invited to choose along with the boy as his faithful dog watches. Simple illustrations use bright color and a clear layout help younger readers focus on the activity and the appropriate choice.

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Maria Salvadore
Maria Salvadore
July 10, 2014
June 24, 2014
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"A book is a gift you can open again and again." — Garrison Keillor