Best in Show

Overview

When Abby visits her aunt at the kennel where she works, she falls in love with the new poodle puppies-and one puppy in particular named Gem. Aunt Nancy invites Abby to help out at the kennel, and Abby's excited to work with the trainer, Wendell, teaching Gem all she needs to know to become a winning show dog. Soon it's the day of the biggest dog show of the year, and Abby and Gem will have to overcome the odds to show the judges that Gem is a true champion. Dog lovers, poodle fans, and anyone who enjoys dog ...

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Overview

When Abby visits her aunt at the kennel where she works, she falls in love with the new poodle puppies-and one puppy in particular named Gem. Aunt Nancy invites Abby to help out at the kennel, and Abby's excited to work with the trainer, Wendell, teaching Gem all she needs to know to become a winning show dog. Soon it's the day of the biggest dog show of the year, and Abby and Gem will have to overcome the odds to show the judges that Gem is a true champion. Dog lovers, poodle fans, and anyone who enjoys dog shows will delight in this charming story that highlights the fun of competition and the love between a girl and her favorite pup.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—Gem, a Standard Poodle puppy, was born to be a champion, and his owner, Abby, is going to be there for every prance and primp along the way to help him reach his "Best in Show" potential. Gem's coming-of-age story on the show circuit is more of a how-to for raising a champion than a story of a girl and her dog, and while it revolves around the high-stakes world of dog showing, there is little doubt that a perfect pup raised step-by-step in the perfect way will end up the winner at the end. Pencil and watercolor wash illustrations show the details of training a show dog. The instructional tone lets up a bit with the handler twisting his ankle at the big show, giving Abby a chance to take the ring with Gem and save the day. This is the kind of nail-biting action that readers will wish had pervaded the entire story, but ultimately the subject matter is too specialized for general interest.—Sarah Townsend, Norfolk Public Library, VA
Children's Literature - Susan Borges
Abby loves poodles and when Aunt Nancy's poodle has a litter of puppies, Abby is thrilled! She falls in love with Gem who has sparkly white fur, and when the puppies are eight weeks old, Aunt Nancy asks Abby if she would like to help train Gem to be a show dog one day. Abby is eager to learn about dog training and Gem is a good student. As Abby learns about raising Gem, caring for her, and preparing to enter her in a dog show, readers of this delightful story learn many interesting facts and details about grooming, feeding, handling, and caring for puppies as they mature into good show dogs. Readers also learn about good sportsmanship and the rewards of hard work when Abby gets an unexpected opportunity to be in the ring with Gem. Children who like dogs and caring for show dogs will be fascinated by this charming and interesting book about Abby and Gem. On the last page of the book there is a page called "Infurmation" where readers can learn more important and relevant information about dog shows and dog training. This delightful story with its warm and appealing illustrations is a pleasure to read and look at, so it will surely be enjoyed by many children; but it is a must for young dog lovers and children who are interested in show dogs. Reviewer: Susan Borges
Kirkus Reviews

A little girl named Abby helps train a white standard poodle in this predictable story about the world of show dogs. Abby helps her aunt, the "kennel keeper," and the kennel owner with a new litter of puppies born to Abby's dog, Jewel. Abby chooses a white female named Gem as her special puppy and helps with her care and early training for puppy shows. Gem advances through the competitive world of dog shows, and at a major show, Abby shows Gem in a Best of Show round after the dog's regular handler is injured. Dog-show terms and concepts are used within the text but are often not adequately defined for those unfamiliar with this specialized world, particularly in the show sequence as Gem advances through the levels of the show to win the top prize. Day's watercolor-and-pencil illustrations create distinct personalities for the charming little girl and appealing poodle. A final page of "infurmation" answers some questions about dog shows but doesn't make up for the lack of definitions.(Picture book. 4-8)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802720658
  • Publisher: Walker & Company
  • Publication date: 2/1/2011
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.70 (w) x 11.20 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Karen LeFrak is the author of Jake the Philharmonic Dog and Jake the Ballet Dog. She breeds and shows champion poodles. Ms. LeFrak and her husband, Richard LeFrak, have two sons, Harrison and James, and split their time between Manhattan and Southampton, where they live with their flock of poodles.

www.karenlefrak.com

Andrew Day is the illustrator of Now Hiring: White House Dog and is an illustrator at a Chicago advertising agency. He lives in Chicago, Illinois.

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