Max the Flying Sausage Dog: A Scary Tail (Bullies, watch out!) by John O’Driscoll and Richard Kelley; illustrated by Arthur Robins
Words in the Works, 2016. 978-0997228427
Synopsis: Tom and Max are always picked on by the bullies next door and their bigger, meaner dogs. Could a neighbor in a run-down house have the answer Tom needs to get the bullies to be nicer?
Why I picked it up: This series is so cute and fun!
Why I finished it: This might not be a Halloween story, per se, but it has ghouls, ghosts, and witches that will thrill each reader. When Tom’s parents convince him to go and help out an older lady everyone thinks is a witch, he and Max are nervous about what will happen to them. But there’s no need to worry because Miss Amersham isn’t actually a witch – she’s just lonely since her dog died, and Tom knows what it’s like to lose a friend. Miss Amersham tells Tom he needs to confront the bullies (whatever that means) and then they will stop picking on him. While the solution isn’t immediately apparent to Tom or the reader, the solution is both creative and clever. What is so enchanting to me about this series is that it hits on a lot of different themes, like responsibility and bullying, that are things most of us have to deal with all the time either directly or indirectly. We might be afraid to go to that scary house down the street and interact with a weird neighbor, but it’s still someone’s home and that neighbor is still a person that needs to be treated with respect. We shouldn’t make fun of something or someone just because we perceive it as different or weird. We need to celebrate our individuality and be willing to do things that might seem a little bit scary at first. But these experiences are the ones in which we grow the most. Sweet, charming, and full of love, this book can be enjoyed by all ages and all reading levels either read to yourself or out loud. I’m always excited to read more about Max and Tom’s adventures!
Other related materials: Max the Flying Sausage Dog: A Tail from London by John O’Driscoll and Richard Kelley, illustrated by Arthur Robins; Max the Flying Sausage Dog: Tails from the Pound by John O’Driscoll and Richard Kelley, illustrated by Arthur Robins 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