Dear Mrs. LaRue: Letters from Obedience School

( 9 )

Overview


A beguiling dog laments his fate at obedience school through a series of hilarious letters home--by the best-selling illustrator of HOW DO DINOSAURS SAY GOOD NIGHT?

When Ike Larue is "imprisoned" at the Igor Brotweiler Canine Academy, he tries everything to get sent home--weepy letters to his owner, even illness. In reality, Brotweiler is more like camp than prison, but still, Ike's not cut out for life w/o Mrs. Larue & his creature comforts. Finally, he runs away only to ...

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Overview


A beguiling dog laments his fate at obedience school through a series of hilarious letters home--by the best-selling illustrator of HOW DO DINOSAURS SAY GOOD NIGHT?

When Ike Larue is "imprisoned" at the Igor Brotweiler Canine Academy, he tries everything to get sent home--weepy letters to his owner, even illness. In reality, Brotweiler is more like camp than prison, but still, Ike's not cut out for life w/o Mrs. Larue & his creature comforts. Finally, he runs away only to find himself back in Snort City--just in time to save Mrs. Larue's life.Teague is at the top of his fetching form in this madcap comedy where the real world of Brotweiler & the one Ike imagines are brilliantly depicted thru split-screen visuals, the former in color & the latter in b&w.

Gertrude LaRue receives typewritten and paw-written letters from her dog Ike, entreating her to let him leave the Igor Brotweiler Canine Academy and come back home.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

A dog's life is hardly to be envied if one believes the words of Ike, a rambunctious pooch sentenced to obedience school by his exasperated owner, Mrs. LaRue. Having repeatedly terrorized the neighbors' cats and snatched one snack too many from the kitchen counter, Ike finds himself enrolled at Igor Brotweiler Canine Academy. The hero begins a clever letter-writing campaign to Mrs. LaRue that paints a grim (and hopefully guilt-inducing) picture of his Brotweiler experience. But readers are privy to the hilarious truth. Teague (How Do Dinosaurs Say Good Night?) depicts the pampered pup at the spa-like academy in brightly colored vignettes, juxtaposed with black-and-white prison-like scenes that illustrate Ike's imagined hardship. He composes his correspondence with dramatic flair, whether describing his "inmate" experience ("The guards here are all caught up in this good dog, bad dog' thing") or reflecting on his misdeeds back at home ("Were the neighbors really complaining about my howling?... Let's recall that these are the same neighbors who are constantly waking me up in the middle of the afternoon with their loud vacuuming").Throughout, the devilish laughs are in the details (waiters in white coats serving academy dogs gourmet meals and frozen drinks; Ike's images of a hard life in striped prison garb plus ball-and-chain). Even the duo's reunion (to much fanfare) plays off of an earlier joke. All in all, a tail-wagger of a book that will have readers howling with amusement.--Publishers Weekly, July 22, 2002 starred review
An epistolary picture book detailing the misadventures of a very imaginative dog at obedience school. Ike the terrier is a reluctant student at the Igor Brotweiler Canine Academy, and sends daily letters home describing the tortures he's undergoing at school: "Needless to say, I am being horribly mistreated. You say I should be patient and accept that I'll be here through the term. Are you aware that the term lasts TWO MONTHS? Do you know how long that is in dog years?" In a series of inspired double-page spreads, the bright acrylic illustrations depict Ike scrivening away in the plushest possible surroundings, while he imagines (appropriately enough in black-and-white) what he describes. As Ike complains about the food, the reader sees him seated at a table covered in a white tablecloth and decorated with roses; his fevered imagination, however, conjures up a vision of a burly, tattooed cook standing over a cauldron and pointing at a sign that says "No howling, biting, scratching, growling, slobbering, or barking, and no seconds!" as Ike, prison-stripe-clad, forlornly holds up his dog dish. The concept is fun, but it's a one-note joke that depends on a highly developed sense of irony to appreciate. Teague's first offering as author/illustrator since One Halloween Night (1999) demonstrates a mastery of illustration without an accompanying command of textual narration; the overlong text bogs down as the reader attempts to figure out what's really going on: does Ike really want to go back home? does he really believe what he describes? is he simply trying to make Mrs. LaRue feel guilty? The work as a whole is energetic but ultimately fails to follow through on a promising concept.--Kirkus Reviews, August 1, 2002
Ike is one bad dog, so it's off to the Brotweiler Canine Academy, school for errant pooches. The dog has been known to steal food, chase the neighbor's cats, and destroy clothing. From school, Ike writes home to his person, Gertrude LaRue. Black-and-white illustrations portray the canine's version of his confinement, while splashes of color show the reality. According to Ike, it's a real prison at the academy; he's even got the striped outfit to prove it. In reality, he is lodged at a virtual doggy resort and spa, complete with sauna, pool, and gourmet eats. In his letters, the pooch begs to come home, and offers up a defense of his so-called crimes. After a month of such harsh-uh,
Publishers Weekly
A dog's life is hardly to be envied if one believes the words of Ike, a rambunctious pooch sentenced to obedience school by his exasperated owner, Mrs. LaRue. Having repeatedly terrorized the neighbors' cats and snatched one snack too many from the kitchen counter, Ike finds himself enrolled at Igor Brotweiler Canine Academy. The hero begins a clever letter-writing campaign to Mrs. LaRue that paints a grim (and hopefully guilt-inducing) picture of his Brotweiler experience. But readers are privy to the hilarious truth. Teague (How Do Dinosaurs Say Good Night?) depicts the pampered pup at the spa-like academy in brightly colored vignettes, juxtaposed with black-and-white prison-like scenes that illustrate Ike's imagined hardship. He composes his correspondence with dramatic flair, whether describing his "inmate" experience ("The guards here are all caught up in this `good dog, bad dog' thing") or reflecting on his misdeeds back at home ("Were the neighbors really complaining about my howling?... Let's recall that these are the same neighbors who are constantly waking me up in the middle of the afternoon with their loud vacuuming").Throughout, the devilish laughs are in the details (waiters in white coats serving academy dogs gourmet meals and frozen drinks; Ike's images of a hard life in striped prison garb plus ball-and-chain). Even the duo's reunion (to much fanfare) plays off of an earlier joke. All in all, a tail-wagger of a book that will have readers howling with amusement. Ages 5-8. (Sept.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2-Ike is one bad dog, so it's off to the Brotweiler Canine Academy, school for errant pooches. The dog has been known to steal food, chase the neighbor's cats, and destroy clothing. From school, Ike writes home to his person, Gertrude LaRue. Black-and-white illustrations portray the canine's version of his confinement, while splashes of color show the reality. According to Ike, it's a real prison at the academy; he's even got the striped outfit to prove it. In reality, he is lodged at a virtual doggy resort and spa, complete with sauna, pool, and gourmet eats. In his letters, the pooch begs to come home, and offers up a defense of his so-called crimes. After a month of such harsh-uh, plush-treatment, Ike manages to escape, and fortunately for Mrs. LaRue, he arrives back in town just as she is about to be run over by an oncoming delivery truck. Ike saves her, and is the hero of the day. The humorous acrylic illustrations are, at times, a howl and the oversized format is well-suited to storytelling. Despite the dogs ex machina, charming Ike will likely find a home in many picture-book collections.-Roxanne Burg, Thousand Oaks Library, CA Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
An epistolary picture book detailing the misadventures of a very imaginative dog at obedience school. Ike the terrier is a reluctant student at the Igor Brotweiler Canine Academy, and sends daily letters home describing the tortures he's undergoing at school: "Needless to say, I am being horribly mistreated. You say I should be patient and accept that I'll be here through the term. Are you aware that the term lasts TWO MONTHS? Do you know how long that is in dog years?" In a series of inspired double-page spreads, the bright acrylic illustrations depict Ike scrivening away in the plushest possible surroundings, while he imagines (appropriately enough in black-and-white) what he describes. As Ike complains about the food, the reader sees him seated at a table covered in a white tablecloth and decorated with roses; his fevered imagination, however, conjures up a vision of a burly, tattooed cook standing over a cauldron and pointing at a sign that says "No howling, biting, scratching, growling, slobbering, or barking, and no seconds!" as Ike, prison-stripe-clad, forlornly holds up his dog dish. The concept is fun, but it's a one-note joke that depends on a highly developed sense of irony to appreciate. Teague's first offering as author/illustrator since One Halloween Night (1999) demonstrates a mastery of illustration without an accompanying command of textual narration; the overlong text bogs down as the reader attempts to figure out what's really going on: does Ike really want to go back home? does he really believe what he describes? is he simply trying to make Mrs. LaRue feel guilty? The work as a whole is energetic but ultimately fails to follow through on a promising concept. (Picturebook. 6-9)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780439206631
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/1/2002
  • Series: LaRue Books
  • Edition description: 1ST
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 55,030
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: 500L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 9.28 (w) x 12.20 (h) x 0.43 (d)

Meet the Author

Mark Teague

Mark Teague is an award-winning children's book author and illustrator whose books include the NEW YORK TIMES bestselling How Do Dinosaurs... series, the LaRue series, FIREHOUSE!, FUNNY FARM, and many other humorous picture books. Mark lives in New York state with his wife and their two daughters.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 9 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2011

    Mrs larue

    This book is a great book for kids of all ages I think any one who reads it will love it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 27, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    Melodrama at its best!

    I asked our children's librarian if she had any more "sarcastic books full of big words, like the Ike Larue series", but oddly enough they don't categorize anything under "sarcasm" at the library. They should. Ike Larue is a sly, sarcastic, very melodramatic and hilarious dog, and we love him! He spins wild tale after wild tale about his misadventures and captures your heart. In this book, Ike is sent to obedience school and writes home with a harrowing story of hard discipline, prison food and mistreatment, eventually leading to his escape and difficult travels home. The second set of illustrations hints that perhaps the ritzy country club school was not quite as bad as Ike would have us believe. Brilliant writing pulls no punches and will greatly increase any child's vocabulary as the whole family reads this book over and over again. Mrs. Larue is lucky to have him, and you should have him too.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 17, 2008

    Good Book for funny kids

    This book is about a dog who goes to prison and he learns stuff about school,like math, reading & science. He also learned to eat with his paws. The dog he was so good that he got out of jail and ate his favorite food,chicken pie. I really liked this book because it was funny. I would recommend it to funny kids.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 24, 2006

    Mrs. Hudson's 2nd Grade Class

    The story is amazing and funny with black and white and color pictures. The story is about a dramatic dog who wrote notes to his owner from obedience school. There are creative pictures and characters, especially the last picture. The pictures looked so interesting that we would like to go there. The author has a good imagination. We really liked reading this story in class.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 11, 2003

    linda, lover of life and all dogs

    i was laughing so hard as i read this book to my child that it was almost impossible to read. a must read for all who share their life with a child and a pet!!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 28, 2003

    Absolutely Hilarious

    Ike is one very funny dog. His antics at obedience school are the dreams of every domesticated animal. Three cheers for Ike and his tenacity. What a relief it was when he arrived home just in time to save dear, old Mrs. LaRue! He's a GOOD DOG!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 5, 2002

    All ages love this book!

    Ike is hysterical. Even my 12 year old nephew found it very funny and memorable. It's inventive and entertaining. If your child doesn't read well yet, this book will make your job easier since the adults in my family loved reading it over and over. If you have a dog, you'll probably see him in the story.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 6, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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