Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Smells Like Dog review

Jacket description (from ARC):
"Meet Homer Pudding, an ordinary farm boy who dreams of grand adventures and inherits a dog when his beloved uncle, the famous explorer Drake Pudding, mysteriously vanishes. Homer doesn't understand why Drake would call a droopy dog with no sense of smell his 'most treasured possession,' until he discovers a mysterious coin hidden on Dog's collar.

Soon Homer, his sister Gwendolyn, and Dog are thrust into the midst of an amazing adventure that takes them off to a dangerous city by themselves. In a race to discover Dog's true hidden talent, Homer must outwit the conniving Madame la Directeau, Head of the Museum of Natural History, and take his uncle's place in the secret society of adventurers known as L.O.S.T."

If you have yet to read a Suzanne Selfors book, you are truly missing out. Smart, yet hilarious, this is my favorite type of book for a family read aloud. We have quirky, out-of-the-ordinary characters, each with flaws that they're attempting to work on, and a complete unrealistic adventure that includes lots of zaniness. Kids will be laughing the whole way and you won't be able to keep yourself from chuckling at the antics of Homer, his sister, and Dog.

I think Homer was a well written main character, that (as silly as he is sometimes), kids will have no problem relating to. He isn't perfect, he makes mistakes, but he has goals that he's determined to reach, and the journey this story takes him on, builds his confidence in himself. The messages the author weaves into the book are subtle, yet effective, not to mention Dog is adorable!

I did feel it was a tad long, but if you read this blog often, you know that's my main critic of middle grade/ya books. I guess over 350 page for this particular book seemed unnecessary, though once you lose yourself in it, you won't be keeping track of pages anyways.

Overall rating: 4 out of 5
A "clean" book, which makes for a fun family read. If you haven't checked out Fortune's Magic Farm, I highly recommend doing so...another great read-aloud (though I didn't love the cover). You can read my review of that one here.

Smells Like Dog will be featured over at Reading to Know tomorrow, if you're interested in seeing another opinion!

Smells Like Dog
Suzanne Selfors
368 pages
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
May 2010
Review copy received from publisher

To learn more or to purchase, click on the book cover above to link to Amazon. I am an Associate and will receive a small percentage of the purchase price. Thanks!


Suzanne Selfors said...

Hi Amanda.
Thank you for the lovely review of Smells Like Dog. And for recommending Fortune's Magic Farm. You mentioned you didn't like the Farm cover but guess what? It's getting a new cover and will be re-released in 2011, along with a new cover for To Catch a Mermaid. I'm so excited!

Peaceful Reader said...

Your lovely review makes me think this would make a great vacation read-aloud for the whole family! Thanks.