Rave Reviews Log: Animal Stories

April 19, 2007

Big Red

By Jim Kjelgaard
Animal: Dog
Rating: 4 1/4 stars
Reviewed by Noelle

In this classic tale, Danny and his father live in a small cabin in the woods near the land of a wealthy man, Mr. Haggin. Mr. Haggin uses Danny for small odd jobs, like tracking down his livestock that has gone astray, but mostly Danny and his father live by trapping in the woods. They had always owned hound dogs, but one day, Danny spies Mr. Haggin's new dog--an Irish Setter by the name of Champion Sylvester Boy. Danny and the Setter are immediately drawn to each other, and Danny renames the valuable dog Red. Slowly, Mr. Haggin begins to introduce Danny to the world of dog showing with Red, and Danny glimpses a life beyond the small simple one he has always known. But then Danny and his father get the job of tracking down Old Majesty--a huge grizzly bear that's been preying on everyone's livestock for a decade. But when it comes to a showdown between Danny and Old Majesty, Red refuses to be left out. This is an exciting adventure tale as well as a wonderful story about a boy and his dog. Readers will also want to continue with Outlaw Red and Irish Red for more adventures of Danny and his dogs.

April 11, 2007

The Prince of the Pond

By Donna Jo Napoli
Animal: Frogs
Rating: 4 1/2 stars
Reviewed by Noelle

Remember the story of the Frog Prince? How a prince was changed into a frog by an evil hag until a princess kissed him and turned him back into a human? Well, this is the story of the prince's life as a frog until he was turned back into a human. "Pin" appears in the pond suddenly one day, acting very strange in the eyes of "Jade," the frog who first sees him. He doesn't seem to know how to hop or swim, or use his tongue to catch bugs, or even talk properly. Jade gives him lessons on being froggy, but she can't help noticing his odd behavior. Like taking a turtle head on, saving other frogs from danger, and insisting on taking care of his tadpoles. But what happens when Pin wants to take on the hag? Readers will enjoy Jade's story of "de Fawg Pin" and even learn quite a bit about frogs in the process. A fun, quick-paced story that everyone will enjoy. You can continue the story with Jimmy, the Pickpocket of the Palace.