Monday, November 3, 2008

Review #1: The Dog Who Belonged to No One

Dad:  We just read "The Dog Who Belonged to No One."  It's written by Amy Hest, and the pictures are by Amy Bates...
Gracie (age 8):  Amy...  Amy...  hello Amy and other Amy!
Dad:  So tell me about this book.
Lily (age 5):  I think it's great!
Isaac (age 10):  It's about a dog and a girl...
Gracie:  A "wisp" of a girl!
Isaac: ...who were both lonely and wished they had someone to be their friend...
Gracie:  (dramatically) that makes me cry.
Isaac: ...then they met each other, so their wishes were fulfilled.  The dog's story and the girl's story were kind of the exact same.
Dad:  In what ways?
Isaac:  They both needed a friend.
Gracie:  And she lived in a crooked house - a VERY crooked house - and he had crooked ears!
Isaac:  Also, they both tried to outrun the storm.  They were both soaked to the bone.  They both went to the same house.  They both had the exact same dream.
Gracie:  They both "tucked themselves inside themselves."
Isaac:  Yeah, I think there are nice words in this book.  They are different than other words.  Like, "a wisp of a girl" and "they tucked themselves inside themselves."
Dad:  Yes, very creative descriptions.
  I just realized something about this book - I don't know if it's a coincidence or not.  But in the story the dog and the girl are alike in a lot of ways, and look at this: (flipping to the cover) Amy Hest and Amy Bates.  They have the exact same name!
Dad:  That is cool...  And what about the pictures?  This illustrator is one of my new favorite-favorites.  She's the same lady that did the pictures for --
Gracie:  Babymouse?
Dad:  No - not Babymouse.  She did the pictures for that thanksgiving book we have, "Give Thanks to the Lord."  Do you remember that one?  We just got it.
Gracie:  No.  But I remember Babymouse.
Dad:  Do you have a favorite picture from this book?
Lily:  The picture on the back.
Gracie:  Yes, that's my favorite too.
Dad:  Tell me about it...
Lily:  There's a girl and a dog with cooked ears...
Gracie:  The girl doesn't have crooked ears.
Dad:  Why is this one your favorite?
Lily:  Because he's happy, and he's cute, and he has his tongue sticking out, and his tongue is dark red, and I like dark red.
Gracie:  And I love her hat!  It looks like something from France.
(Opening up the book)  That's a sad picture, isn't it.
Isaac:  Isn't there a thing you can do with colors - to make you feel happy or sad...
Dad:  Yep...  What do you notice about the colors when the dog is sad?
Isaac:  Purple, dark blue...
Dad:  What about this happy page?
Isaac:  Yellows and whites and bright colors.  The only blue here is like... aqua.
Dad:  Do you remember what that's called?
Gracie:  Warm colors and Dark colors.
Dad:  Not dark... what's the opposite of warm?
Gracie:  Cold.
Dad:  Almost.  "Cool" colors.  So when things are happy...
Gracie:  They are yellow and red.
Dad:  And when things are sad...
Gracie:  They are blue and purple.
Dad:  You know what Dad thought was fun about this book?  They could have put a picture on this page and just plain words on the other side.  But look what they did.  There are all these neat borders around the words.
Isaac:  Oh yeah!  And they made the border into a... wagon?
Dad:  I think it's her bicycle wheels.  And what's on the pages with the dog...
Gracie:  Aww!  Dog prints!
Dad:  It's how they both move - paw prints because he walks...
Gracie:  And bicycle wheels because she rides!
Dad:  That dog in the book never got a name did he?  What do you think his name will be now that they belong to each other?  If you saw a little cutie-dog like that, what would you name him?
Lily:  I have an idea, but I don't know if it's going to be a good name...
Dad:  What?
Lily:  "Sweetie Pie" ...hee hee
Dad:  Sweetie Pie!  I think that is a good name!
Gracie:  He's an adorable dog.

Lia and the dog, by Gracie

the dog who belonged to no one, by Isaac

"Sweetie Pie," by Lily

Author: Amy Hest
Illustrator: Amy Bates
Published, 2008: Abrams Books for Young Readers
Like it? Find it


ElizT said...

A very interesting review.
And outstanding drawings.

B said...

The Colorado Z-fam is so excited about Bookie Woogie! We can't wait to check out this first book on your list. It's already on hold for us at the library. Love you guys!

Eric Barclay said...

Wonderful drawings and a very nice review! Congratulations on your new site!

Christine said...

I love the concept of this blog and look forward to future posts! If you are interested in what my kids and I are reading, check out my blog at

MotherReader said...

I totally adore this format. I hope you guys can keep it up, because I'd love to be a regular reader.

How do you keep track of what each kid says? Do you record it and then write it out? I'm curious as someone who recently quoted my 12yr old daughter and made her say it again to make sure I got it right.

Z-Kids said...

Thanks to Everyone for your comments!

A&B - if you want, feel free to write again and tell us what you and the girls thought once you read it

Motherreader - yep, I record the conversation and then type it up later. We record way, way more than we'll post, allowing me to select the best parts for sharing. (And congrats to your daughter on her Adam Rex Monster Haiku win! Our Lily was the other grand prize winner...)


Carrie said...

Yes! Great illustrations in this post. =D

That sounds like a fun book for the whole family to enjoy. ;) THanks for reviewing it.

Carrie said...

p.s. I subscribed to your blog feed as I think this is a really intriguing and unique idea for a book review blog. Keep reviewing and we'll all keep reading!

jama said...

Congrats on the new blog! What a breath of fresh air. Love the kid drawings :). More, please.

Bibliovore said...

What a cool format idea! I have this book at home but haven't read it yet. Now I have to! Thanks for the review, everybody.

Z-Kids said...

Thanks for the nice comments and for reading our review. It's fun to do. We are going to have some more good books coming up...

- Isaac

We had lots of fun drawing, and I am really happy about making the pictures for you to see!

- Lily

I hope everybody keeps reading our review blog - we'll keep adding stories every Monday!

- Gracie

Anonymous said...

Aaron, Issac, Gracie, Lily-
Great comments! Great drawings! I saw this book in the bookstore a couple weeks ago and loved it too! When do you think the story takes place? Do you think it takes place in 2008?

Shelley said...

Hi there! Your review is great and I think this and future posts will help me (and others) find good books for our kids too. Mine is only 19 months old, so he's interested but he doesn't review yet. It's fun just to see his reactions and let him find a book. I can tell what he likes by following his lead. Thanks so much for sharing your insights! I'll be sure to show my son your illustrations. I think he will like them all!

Anonymous said...

Awesome review and even awesomer illustrations, Isaac, Gracie and Lily! My daughter and I are enjoying your site and we've already put your first two books on our library list. Thanks!

Emmy said...

Thank you for a great blog to look at daily. I have just started reading your blog and love it already. Thank You!