________________ CM . . . . Volume XXII Number 3 . . . . September 18, 2015


Bagels on Board. (Orca Echoes).

Joan Betty Stuchner. Illustrated by Dave Whamond.
Victoria, BC: Orca, 2015.
75 pp., pbk., pdf & epub, $6.95 (pbk.).
ISBN 978-1-4598-0695-5 (pbk), ISBN 978-1-4598-0696-2 (pdf), ISBN 978-1-4598-0697-9 (epub).

Grades 1-4 / Ages 6-9.

Review by John Dryden.

*** /4

Reviewed from Advance Reading Copy.



"I must say, Mrs. Bernstein, I couldn't help observing that your children certainly have hearty appetites," he says.

"What do you mean?" says Mom.

"They're always taking food from the buffet-which it's what it's there for, after all. Bagels, pastrami and, of course, their favorite."

Mom looks blank.

"Turkey sausages," says the captain.

"Sausages?" says Mom.

The captain frowns. He's obviously thinking, What kind of mother is this, who doesn't know her kids' favorite food?

Bagels the dog has managed to get on board the cruise that his owner's family has embarked on. Only the two kids, Josh and Becky, know that he is on board (as well as the aunt who was supposed to be tending to the dog). In order to keep the dog a mystery and to remain on the 'no-pets-allowed' cruise, the kids sneak the dog food from the all-you-can-eat-buffet. To complicate things, there is a mystery afoot that Josh feels he needs to solve. Josh calls himself 009. He is nine years old and 007 is already taken. He pursues the bad guys from afar and is doubly convinced they're bad guys when Bagels growls at them (as well as overhearing some evil plans). Eventually all ends well when Bagels, Josh, and Becky save the day!

      This third installment of Bagels continues the fun and fast-paced story of Bagels and the Bernstein family. Because I had not read the second book, Bagels the Brave, I was skeptical when I read that there was a 'mystery' to solve. However, I was pleasantly surprised with how the story was written and how the author stayed on track with the characteristics of the family that I'm familiar with from the first novel in the series, Bagels Come Home!. Dave Whamond continues his excellent illustrations that frequent each chapter. The plot moved along quickly, and readers will be curious to know how Bagels is discovered, kept secret, and helps out in stopping the bad guys. I found many of the story elements quite entertaining commencing with the Bernstein's winning a cruise sponsored by a baked beans company, through to the antics of the children, and interactions between the family. Bagels on Board is yet another success for Joan Betty Stuchner who, I was saddened to learn, lost her battle with cancer in 2014.


John Dryden lives and teaches in BC's Cowichan Valley.

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

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