Albert, the Dog Who Liked to Ride in Taxis

( 1 )

Overview

Always Albert hopes for rain. On rainy days Mrs. Crabtree takes him with her for taxi rides. So much better than walks.
One day — brilliantly sunny, for a surprise — Albert hops a taxi alone. More than one taxi, actually.
You will never guess where he goes!

Albert the dachshund loves nothing better than riding in taxicabs, until the day a taxicab adventure takes ...

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Overview

Always Albert hopes for rain. On rainy days Mrs. Crabtree takes him with her for taxi rides. So much better than walks.
One day — brilliantly sunny, for a surprise — Albert hops a taxi alone. More than one taxi, actually.
You will never guess where he goes!

Albert the dachshund loves nothing better than riding in taxicabs, until the day a taxicab adventure takes him to the airport.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Like most literary heroes who set off on their own to see the wide world, the debonair dachshund who stars in this droll, episodic picture book pines for adventure. Albert loves to ride in taxis, and when he sneaks into a cab without being seen for his first solo ride, he thinks, "Here was luxury. Here was freedom." He meets an elderly lady in another taxi, who offers to take him with her to the Kalahari desert, and, later, he befriends two boys bound for California. Albert feels "exhilarated. He had ridden in three taxis in one day. He was a dog of the world." Fans of The Adventures of Taxi Dog, also set in New York City, will discover here a longer text and more fully-fleshed out characterization. The stylized artwork brims with elongated vehicles, buildings and trees that seem tailored to a dachshund. Pratt's (Where's Pup?) Albert and friends, with their squared-off noses or muzzles, seem posed, as if they were part of a series of acrylic cartoon tableaux registering exaggerated emotions. Zarin's story blends realism and fiction with quirky verve, and the memorable Albert is Fred Astaire-suave. By the end, Albert, the inveterate optimist, has been to the airport and now sets his sights on bigger things: "Taxis are all very well," he thinks to himself, "but can they take you to California? To the Kalahari? To Timbuktu?" The leisurely, sophisticated delivery will stretch the vocabulary of the picture-book crowd; grown-up dachshund devotees will certainly lap this up as well. Ages 3-6. (Feb.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Albert is a metropolitan dachshund who adores taxis. Pages chock-full of bright acrylic paintings reveal the suave pooch gazing at or peering out of the stretch yellow cabs maneuvering up and down the streets of New York City. Normally he walked with his owner, Mrs. Crabtree, but on rainy days or holiday excursions, she would hail a cab and presto, he imagined himself a noble prince. His taste for solo cab rides began one day while Mrs. Crabtree was busy chatting with Tony the doorman. As "the rest of Mrs. Milton got out of the taxi," Albert hops in and a day of exploration begins—hailing friends and gathering invitations from riders to accompany them on journeys to Kalahari and California. It might have been bon voyage if Mr. Crabtree's arrival at the airport hadn't coincided with Albert's discovery of big white birds (airplanes) and expanded dreams of adventure. It is a doggy escapade brimming with cheery feelings and fresh experiences. The illustrator's symbolic style of lengthening and squaring features adds a unique perspective that will delight young readers. Look for him in a dreaming pose under the text, "But most of all Albert liked to ride in taxis." That scene tells it all! 2004, Atheneum Books, Ages 5 to 8.
—Barbara Troisi
Library Journal
Gr 1-3-Most of the time, Albert the dachshund and Mrs. Crabtree walk the streets of New York City, but they occasionally take taxis, and thus is born the dog's simple pleasure. One day, he sneaks into a cab alone, but is soon dumped back onto the sidewalk by the driver. Next, he enters a car with a "very old lady" who offers to take him on an adventure. Though interested, he jumps out of the window and begins a third escapade with a couple of airport-bound boys. When they arrive at the terminal, the hyperactive pooch is overwhelmed by travel possibilities, until he runs into Mr. Crabtree, who is returning from a business trip, and the man takes his pet home in a cab (though now Albert daydreams of airplanes instead of automobiles). Young urbanites will relate to scenes of Central Park and the Brooklyn Bridge, but may not share Albert's delight in traveling alone and being lost in a big city. The lengthy text requires an audience of independent readers; young listeners will have trouble following the jumpy narrative with its confusing character cameos. Pratt's witty illustrations, rendered in quick broad strokes and vibrant washes of color, aptly reflect the bustling vitality of the city but are not enough to elevate Albert to more than a secondary purchase.-Mary Ann Carcich, Hampton Bays Public Library, NY Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
In this urbane New York City tale, a small dog's horizons expand when an impulsive hop into a taxi opens up a world of tempting new prospects. Leaving his comfortable Riverside Drive routine behind, Albert finds himself transported all over town, greeting doggy friends as he passes from cab to cab, receiving offers from various riders headed for destinations as far apart as California and the Kalahari. Zarin tells the tale in an offhand, tongue-in-cheek tone-"Bark, woof, aargh!" goes the dialogue during a canine melee-that nicely complements Pratt's views of city streets, long, low-slung yellow cabs and a likewise low-slung dachshund on the move. Albert ends up at the airport, where he runs into one of his startled owners returning from a trip-but the sight of jet liners taking off for parts unknown stays with him on the ride back home. Albert may ride the same streets as the Barraccas' Taxi Dog, but by the close it's plain that his traveling's only just begun. (Picture book. 7-9)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780689847622
  • Publisher: Atheneum/Richard Jackson Books
  • Publication date: 1/1/2004
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 502,709
  • Age range: 3 - 6 Years
  • Lexile: AD660L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 10.10 (w) x 10.40 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Cynthia Zarin is a staff writer at The New Yorker magazine and an Artist-in-Residence at the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine in New York City.

She is the author of several books of poetry and four picture books for children: Rose and Sebastian; What Do You See When You Shut Your Eyes?; Wallace Hoskins, the Boy Who Grew Down; and Albert, the Dog Who Liked to Ride in Taxis. She lives with her family in Manhattan.

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