Words in the Works, 2014. 978-0991036455
Synopsis: For Tom’s seventh birthday, his mother takes him to the pound to adopt a dog. When Tom chooses a small sausage dog (Dachshund) he names Max, he finds out that his pet is even more special than he imagined.
Why I picked it up: I’m always on the lookout for short chapter books for transitional readers.
Why I finished it: This is a cute story about just how much people love their pets. As a dog lover/owner, I felt for Tom when he was told he could only pick one dog from the pound. But I think he made an excellent choice in Max: sure, his tail spins instead of wags and Tom has to keep Max’s special talent from his parents, but Max will no doubt be a loyal and loving companion. Robins’ illustrations remind me very much of Quentin Blake, who did the pictures for Roald Dahl’s many children’s books. It brings a child-like aspect to the book that will definitely appeal to younger readers. It’s a pretty fast read that is perfect for readers who aren’t quite ready for bulkier chapter books and helps to encourage reluctant readers to pick up a book.
Other related materials: Gumwrappers and Goggles written and illustrated by Winifred Barnum-Newman; That Day in September and Other Rhymes for the Times by Liz Lime; Flat Stanley books by Jeff Brown, illustrated by Macky Pamintuan; Nate the Great books by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat, illustrated by Marc Simont; Roscoe Riley Rules books by Katherine Applegate, illustrated by Brian Biggs; George Brown, Class Clown books by Nancy Krulik, illustrated by Aaron Blecha; The Notebook of Doom books by Troy Cummings