Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Magic Bone: Be careful what you sniff for by Nancy Krulik, illustrated by Sebastien Braun

Sparky is a typical, enthusiastic puppy. Even when he makes mistakes, he knows his owner, Josh, will always love him. But then a neighboring dog warns him that digging too many holes will get him taken to the pound! Can it be true?

Sparky doesn't believe him, until he finds a delicious bone in one of his holes and finds himself suddenly transported to a strange and terrifying place (but with wondrous smells). It's a magic bone and he's in London. He has some scary adventures, meets new friends, and makes it home in time to make up to Josh for his earlier mistakes.

Nancy Krulik is an experienced author of a lot of beginning and intermediate chapter series and she has just the perfect mixture of funny and informational. There are lots of points kids will like in this series - the information about famous places, Sparky's silly view of the world around him, and his puppyish enthusiasm. I can see kids collapsing in giggles as he yells at his paws for getting him into trouble.

I was surprised to realize Sebastien Braun had done the illustrations, because I always think of him in the context of his beautiful paintings for picture books, but he does a cartoon style very well too.

Verdict: I'd booktalk this as a cross between Flat Stanley and Down Girl and Sit, two favorite series at my library. If you also have fans of those series, this should be a popular addition.

ISBN: 9780448463995; Published 2013 by Grosset & Dunlap/Penguin; Borrowed from another library in my consortium; Added to the library's order list

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