Children's Literature - Anita Barnes Lowen
Meet Larry, the mouthy Maltese who has given away his greatest secret. He can talk...and sing, dance, and compose music. Suddenly he is no longer just Cathy's dog. He and Tom (Cathy's songwriting Dad ) are zooming to the top of the entertainment world. Larry is a stara big star. But his big mouth and his outsized ego are getting him in trouble. Larry's interview on the Larry Kane show creates a split with his human family. "Tom is great...but let's face it, I'm where it's at." Now Larry's doggie door is nailed shut. The mailman has been told to discontinue delivering his fan mail. And he is living with his agent in an apartment that does not allow pets. (Pets? Do not put Larry in that category. He is the King of Rock and Roll.) But the worst is yet to come. Always impulsive and never remembering to count to ten before speaking, Larry lets it slip that all dogsnot just Larrycan speak. Now there are a lot of dogs with their fur in a twistdogs that you would not want to meet on a dark night. Larry is in really big trouble! A thoroughly enjoyable story that might have you wondering just what hidden talents your dog has.
School Library Journal
Larry appears to be an average dog: loyal, faithful, and eager to please. The fluffy Maltese goes everywhere with his family, and loves nothing more than cuddling up with 10-year-old Cathy. Therefore, Cathy and her father, Tom, are understandably shocked when one day Larry gets hot under the collar and chews them out—in words. The premise is that Larry, and all dogs for that matter, can talk. They are simply more highly evolved beings who recognize the importance of their reticent role in society. Larry's role, however, changes quickly as he embarks on a successful musical career with Tom, who is a songwriter. Hounded by success and pawed by fame, Larry loses sight of his family, friends, and, ultimately, himself. Fortunately, Cathy and Tom eventually intervene and shepherd him home to forgiveness and reconciliation. Underneath its sweet, silly surface, this story touches on several issues that are important to today's children. Divorce, shared custody, new relationships, and difficult choices are all central themes. While the story flows fairly smoothly, the characters feel somewhat flat, and some key cultural references are a bit out of date, something most readers of this age will notice. Still, children begging for stories about pets will find this an entertaining read.
Tracy H. ChrenkaCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Familiar tropes get turned on their furry little ears in this barbed, video-ready rock-and-roll tale. Having already revealed to his human family-divorced songwriter Tom and his sad daughter Cathy-that he can talk, write music and sing, Larry (a dustmop-like Maltese) goes public and becomes an instant international sensation. The fame going straight to his head, Larry proclaims his act to be bigger than the Beatles, and proceeds to alienate Tom, Cathy and all of his fellow dogs, too, with his boasting and snotty behavior. Though played for laughs, there are some sharp edges here; despite his fame, Larry gets the same cold shoulder at hotels and restaurants that African-American performers did (do?), and even acquiring a "Yoko" in luscious fellow Maltese Maggie doesn't save him from the revelation that it's lonely at the top. Though yanked around by the tension between his big ego and an ingrained streak of doggy loyalty, Larry never does become a sympathetic character, and even indiscriminate readers may wince at the utterly pat happy ending. Still, the idea of a small dog belting ballads and busting moves atop a grand piano has its attractions. Let the casting begin. (Fantasy. 10-12)