Great Aunt Ida and Her Great Dane, Doc

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
``Great-Aunt Ida and her Great Dane, Doc / Take a half an hour to walk halfway down the block / And each old lady Aunt Ida sees / She stops to say hello,'' complains this tale's narrator, a tough-looking red-headed skateboarder. Should he and Doc (a scene-stealer with beady eyes and an enormous snout) mosey along at Ida's snaily pace or make a break for it? Although Komaiko ( Annie Bananie ) never quite quells the sourness of the boy's initial disdain for elderly Ida, his grudging politeness gives way to admiration when she calmly chases off an unruly pack of dogs. Irregular rhymes are tricky to read aloud, but inspire Schindler ( Is This a House for a Hermit Crab? ) to zany zestiness. The artist makes the most of a rambunctious fantasy sequence in which the narrator, astride Doc, ropes cattle and, later, performs ``deluxe somersaults'' with the dog at the circus. The patient Doc seems to conspire with the narrator yet strolls serenely with Ida--unlike his human playmate, he's the picture of loyalty. Ages 5-8. (Feb.)
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-A young skateboarder goes to meet his great-aunt and her Great Dane, Doc, as they are about to go for a walk. The child thinks what fun it would be to escape with the dog and run free, rather than ``take a half an hour to walk halfway down the block.'' Suddenly they are pursued by a pack of stray canines, making Doc and the youngster ``start walking real fast,/But Aunt Ida says, `Slow down, Let's make the day last.'" When the dogs are right on their heels, Great-aunt Ida ``breathes deep and/Twists/And shouts, `SHOOOOO!'/And they do!'' Now Doc and the youngster, who has a new appreciation for his elderly relative, walk home proudly with Ida. This follows the style of Komaiko's other picture books, showing a special friendship and a surprise revelation of one person's unusual talent. The rhyming text and large, somewhat corny illustrations make this a read-aloud possibility.-Nancy A. Gifford, Schenectady County Public Library, NY
Ilene Cooper
Komaiko has a way with words that's put to good use in her story about a boy who ostensibly goes to visit his Great-aunt Ida but really wants to hang out with her Great Dane, Doc. Great-aunt Ida insists on joining the boy and Doc on their walk, slowing the pace down unbearably as far as the boy's concerned. But when a pack of stray dogs come looking for trouble, Ida shows she's not just the nuisance the boy perceives her to be. The lighthearted, first-person verse is accented by Schindler's funny gouache-and-watercolor pictures that exaggerate everything from Great-aunt Ida's nose to Doc's elongated face. A welcome portrait of an older woman and a lively read-aloud.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780385306829
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 1/1/1994
  • Pages: 32

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