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Alfie Is Not Afraid
     

Alfie Is Not Afraid

by Patricia Carlin
 
A boy and his brave puppy are ready to camp out in their backyard! The boy's not scared because if things go bump in the night, he knows Alfie will protect him: from space invaders, boa constrictors, and even alligators! Alfie's not afraid of anything! Right, Alfie? ....Alfie?

In her picture book debut, Patricia Carlin introduces readers to Alfie and his boy, a

Overview

A boy and his brave puppy are ready to camp out in their backyard! The boy's not scared because if things go bump in the night, he knows Alfie will protect him: from space invaders, boa constrictors, and even alligators! Alfie's not afraid of anything! Right, Alfie? ....Alfie?

In her picture book debut, Patricia Carlin introduces readers to Alfie and his boy, a lovable duo who will leave everyone howling with laughter.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
As a boy embarks on a backyard camp-out—“Alone in the wild, like real explorers”—he extols the bravery of his white-and-black dog, Alfie, who will certainly protect the boy no matter what nature throws in their path. Alfie looks fierce enough in the kitchen, striking a vigilant pose atop a rolled-up sleeping bag. But as the night proceeds, and the narrator imagines one exotic peril after another (“He is also not afraid of grizzly bears, poison spiders, or trees that come to life and clutch you in their branches”), Carlin’s thought-bubble illustrations make it clear that Alfie is far from lionhearted—in fact, he’s convinced he’ll be on the short end of every one of these encounters. Adult author Carlin (How to Tell If Your Boyfriend Is the Antichrist), making a very impressive children’s book debut, has a veteran’s sense of comedy and color. But it’s her black ink line that sells the book: she uses it to give her vignettes a sketchlike immediacy and to create the most expressive, beseeching canine ears and eyes in recent memory. Ages 3�7. Agent: Dan Lazar, Writers House. (May)
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1—When Alfie's boy heads off to go camping in the great unknown (the backyard), he is certain that his trusty dog will be at his side to protect him. Then the boy begins to enumerate the dangers they might encounter—army ants, bats, wolves, crocodiles, poison spiders, grizzly bears, evil trees, etc. With each new potential threat, the pup looks less and less courageous, until he's cowering in the youngster's sleeping bag-which the boy interprets as looking for snakes (good dog!). When something (an acorn) hits the tent, the companions go out to investigate the asteroid, mountain lion, and/or alien invasion. As the boy pontificates on how fearless he is with his watchdog at his side, Alfie makes a run for the house. Realizing that he is alone, the child quickly follows and the two end their adventure snuggled in the boy's bedroom. Carlin's use of white space, borders, expressive fonts, and fabulous facial expressions imbues the story with life. Children will enjoy the dichotomy between illustrations depicting an increasingly anxious Alfie and the text that assures them he is exceedingly brave. No doubt they will identify and empathize with the poor dog—and his boy. Great for storytimes or individual sharing.—Catherine Callegari, Gay-Kimball Library, Troy, NH
Kirkus Reviews
A clichéd story accompanied by less-than-engaging illustrations. With his nameless owner narrating, a black-and-white dog named Alfie prepares for the quintessential backyard campout. The young boy is full of pride for his brave pup, rattling off all of dangers of which Alfie is not afraid--grizzly bears, poisonous spiders and boa constrictors, to name a few. As the list of terrors lengthens, the little dog reassesses this camping idea and is eventually found quaking with fear in the sleeping bag. As night falls, the drop of a nearby acorn morphs into deadly asteroids and alien invasions. What can possibly happen next? As the boy's imagination plucks out a multitude of canned fears, it is mildly humorous to see the myriad ways the panicked dog is imagined. But there is little visual attraction to either the fearful dog or his blustering owner. The illustrations are flat and unsubtle, with pages alternating between multiple black outlined scenes that represent the dog's imagination and the camping expedition. Even the typeface choices seem simply stuck onto the page. There are enough camping stories available to demand a stronger story before adding this to the shelf. Consider Tom Birdseye and Ethan Long's Oh, Yeah! (2003) for backyard-camping fun instead. (Picture book. 4-8)
The New York Times
Carlin's drawings are hugely appealing…As in similar stories, the intrepid campers somehow end up spending the night snuggled within the toy-strewn confines of a four-walled bedroom. But there's enough sweetness and humor here to overlook the conventions.
—Pamela Paul

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781423145370
Publisher:
Disney-Hyperion
Publication date:
07/03/2012
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
9.20(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
3 - 7 Years

Meet the Author

Patricia Carlin fears clowns, great white sharks, and petting zoos. She is a writer and illustrator who lives with her daughter in Ardmore, Pennsylvania. This is her picture book debut.

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