________________ CM . . . . Volume XIII Number 11 . . . .January 19, 2007


Pup and Hound Catch a Thief. (Kids Can Read).

Susan Hood. Illustrated by Linda Hendry.
Toronto, ON: Kids Can Press, 2007.
32 pp., pbk. & cl., $5.95 (pbk.), $14.95 (cl.).
ISBN 978-1-55337-973-7 (pbk.), ISBN 978-1-55337-972-0 (cl.).

Subject Heading:
Dogs-Juvenile fiction.

Preschool-Grade 1 / Ages 3-6.

Review by Shannon Ozirny.

**** /4


In Pup and Hound Catch a Thief, two canine friends set out to solve some mysterious thefts at their farmyard home. The story begins with a (literal) bang, and the hunt for the thief is sure to keep both young and independent readers engaged. Naturally, Pup and Hound automatically blame Cat for the thefts, but a surprise ending brings a humorous resolution to the case as well as a newfound friendship.

     The book is written in gentle rhyme, and no more than four lines of text appear on a single page. While this technique is helpful to new independent readers, it is also great for parents who would like to engage in interactive read-alouds with their children. The small amount of text on each page allows lots of room for big, clear illustrations that nicely accommodate young, pointing fingers. Also, the placement of the text differs from page to page, and so some of the predictability of the leveled book is eliminated.

      Pup and Hound Catch a Thief is surprisingly clever and entertaining for a leveled text. Parents and teachers should not be fooled by the straightforward cover illustration or the book's simple rhyming scheme. While Linda Hendry's illustrations are undeniably cute, they are also thoughtful and detailed. For instance, when Pup and Hound are given biscuits for their good detective work, Pup's biscuit lays in several crunched up pieces while Hound eats his in one bite. The pictures contain similar bits of detail when Pup and Hound try to spy on Cat. They look decidedly disappointed while hiding in the background during their reconnaissance work:

Pup and Hound spied on

Cat all that day.

But drat! All she did

was sleep and play.

     The colour scheme is consistently warm and cozy, and several of the illustrations are double-paged spreads. When the mystery is finally revealed, the pictures work in tandem with the text, clearly illustrating the surprise resolution for young readers.

      Pup and Hound Catch a Thief is a tremendously entertaining success. Teachers and librarians are encouraged to incorporate several titles from the "Pup and Hound" series in their collections. Certainly, this entertaining duo may find a place amongst other classic early-reader characters like Arnold Lobel's Frog and Toad, James Marshall's Fox, and Peggy Parish's Amelia Bedelia.

Highly Recommended.

Shannon Ozirny is a student in the Master of Arts in Children's Literature Program at the University of British Columbia.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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ISSN 1201-9364
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