Letters from a Desperate Dog

Letters from a Desperate Dog

by Eileen Christelow
     
 


Poor Emma is a pup with a problem. Her human, George, constantly misunderstands her. No matter how hard she tries to please him, it's just "Bad! Bad! Bad!" all day long. Tired of feeling unappreciated, Emma finally writes to "Dear Queenie," who, like any good canine advice columnist, suggests that Emma get off the couch and make herself useful--perhaps even find a… See more details below

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Overview


Poor Emma is a pup with a problem. Her human, George, constantly misunderstands her. No matter how hard she tries to please him, it's just "Bad! Bad! Bad!" all day long. Tired of feeling unappreciated, Emma finally writes to "Dear Queenie," who, like any good canine advice columnist, suggests that Emma get off the couch and make herself useful--perhaps even find a career. Before she knows it, Emma is a successful stage actor with a traveling theater company, and her troubles at home are far behind her. There's just one problem . . . she can't stop thinking about George!

The way Emma solves her dilemma and eventually works things out with George is sure to delight readers. Drawn in an accessible comic-book style, and inspired by Eileen Christelow's real-life dog, here is an absolutely hilarious take on unconditional love and the importance of finding one's true calling.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"A delightful romp." Booklist, ALA

"Readers will cheer for this well-intentioned heroine and applaud her eventual success." Kirkus Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Echoes of Mark Teague's Dear Mrs. LaRue resonate in this story of an unappreciated dog who corresponds with a canine advice columnist. "My human is driving me nuts!" thinks Emma, a brown-and-white mutt belonging to a moody artist, George. Stung by George's accusations that she is a bad dog, Emma emails the "Ask Queenie" column at the Weekly Bone, and Queenie writes back, using language usually applied to four-footed types: "Is George a high-strung breed? They can be difficult to live with!... Have you tried licking his hand?" Alas, Emma's well-meaning efforts to placate George's anger go unnoticed due to her klutziness. Christelow (The Great Pig Search) combines conventional expository text, watercolor-and-ink comics panels and hand-drawn voice-bubble dialogue in a manner familiar to readers of Susan Meddaugh's Martha books. Like Martha, Christelow's Emma is eager to please, but George proves difficult to like. "If you don't shape up, I'll take you back to the dog pound!" he yells, banishing poor Emma to the yard. Ultimately, when Emma auditions for a theater company and leaves George without an explanation, Christelow loses control of the plot. The convoluted conclusion-Emma runs away, though not on purpose, and gets George to admit his love-suggests that temperamental family members are not easily taught new tricks. Ages 6-9. (Oct.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature - Phyllis Kennemer
Emma the dog lives with George the painter and his cat. Emma seems to disappoint George in every way. George is constantly telling her that she is bad! bad! bad! One day, Emma spots a canine advice column in the Weekly Bone. She dashes into the library and sends an e-mail to Queenie. Her quick reply advises Emma to be nice to George. But nuzzling his hand results in a disastrous confusion of spilled paint. The response to Emma's next message tells her to take some canine responsibilities. Unfortunately, she interprets that as competing with the cat in catching a mouse. The mouse gets away. The house is a mess. George threatens to take Emma back to the pound. Next, Queenie recommends that Emma look at the job announcements in the Weekly Bone and go to work. Emma is hired as an actress and suddenly finds herself on a bus heading far away from George and his cat. She enjoys her time on the stage but is excited when the troop comes back to her hometown. She sends an e-mail to George about the play. George attends. Emma jumps to join him and they leave together, but Emma is still clumsy and klutzy, so the story does not really end. Presented in cartoon format, the illustrations are colorful and active. The story line, verging on the ridiculous, requires an extra large dose of the suspension of disbelief.
School Library Journal
PreS-K-Emma, a Beagle-like mutt, feels that she is sorely unappreciated and misunderstood by her owner, George, who yells at her for sleeping on the sofa, barking to communicate with the dog next door, and getting into the garbage. The demoralized Emma goes to the library to e-mail the canine advice columnist who writes "Ask Queenie" for the Weekly Bone. Several electronic exchanges result in several suggestions, but George continues to find fault. Queenie then advises getting a job, and Emma auditions for an actor's role that requires lying on the couch-something she knows she's good at. Before she can think, she's whisked out of town with the traveling theater troupe. While she becomes a big star, she can't help but wonder whether or not her owner misses her. When they are reunited, George's joy is evident-until Emma manages to lock him out of his truck and chews on his hat. But absence has made the heart grow fonder, and they've now agreed to put up with one another. Children will find humor in Emma's trip to the library to use the computer, identify with her on those days when she can't seem to do anything right, and experience relief that George loves her no matter what. Colorful, action-filled cartoon art, often featuring several panels per page, accompanies the brief text.-Nancy Silverrod, San Francisco Public Library Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Emma is a dog who lives with George the painter and his cat, and though she tries her best to please him, things sometimes go wrong. After sleeping on the new couch and upsetting the trash, she is sent outside, but when she commiserates with her canine neighbor, George takes issue with her barking. That's when Emma picks up an issue of The Weekly Bone and emails Queenie, the advice columnist, about her troubles. Queenie first suggests showing George affection, but Emma's efforts result in a ruined painting. Next Queenie mentions that Emma should keep an eye on things, but this leads to a mess when Emma tries to catch a mouse. Queenie's last suggestion is that Emma find a job, and when she successfully lands a role in a play, she ends up on tour. Has George missed her? Emma hopes he has.... Readers will cheer for this well-intentioned heroine and applaud her eventual success. Christelow's bright watercolors follow Emma's adventures in comic panels and perfectly depict the satisfying ending. (Picture book. 5-8)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780618510030
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
10/16/2006
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
360,062
Product dimensions:
9.25(w) x 12.00(h) x 0.39(d)
Age Range:
8 - 10 Years

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