Children's Literature - Debra Lampert-RudmanA salt-and-pepper coated miniature schnauzer stares out from the cover of this library title. His tail is docked and his ears are cropped, but the reader will learn that not all miniature schnauzers have cropped tails and docked ears. Beginning with a chapter entitled "The Dog Family," the dog's development from wolf to domestic breed is covered. Discussion of the breed's history begins in the chapter entitled "Miniature Schnauzers," in which the breed's history (dating back to the 1400s) and the derivation of its name is discussed. The reader learns that the miniature schnauzer breed is the result of crossing standard schnauzers with tiny affenpinschers, which opens discussions about biology and breeding. While reading the chapter entitled "What They're Like," children and adults will be delighted by photographs of affectionate pups cavorting with happy children. In fact, the "Care" chapter has a photograph of a smiling boy bathing an undocked miniature schnauzer in a tub. Subsequent chapters cover coat, color, size, and discuss the differences between the American Kennel Club and United Kingdom standards for miniature schnauzers' appearance. Grooming, care, and feeding are all well documented. The "Things They Need" and "Puppies" chapters elaborate on proper training, the breed's activity level, and ways to find and purchase a miniature schnauzer. Large type, short sentences, and clear graphics help even below-level readers gain confidence. Definitions of "dock", "pregnant," and "trait" are listed in a small glossary along with 12 other words common to the series. The subchapter on Web sites provides links to further study on miniature schnauzers by directing readers towww.abdopub.com. Miniature Schnauzers is part of the "ABDO Checkerboard Animal LibraryDogs Set VI" breed-specific books. Parents, librarians, and teachers will want to collect them all, since each is well written, engaging, and captures the essence of its particular breed while supporting national science standards related to life science.
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