Mr. Basset Plays

Overview

Each morning Mr. Reginald E. Basset wakes up in the big bedroom of his huge mansion. And each morning brings more of the same: contracts, payrolls, and purchases. Reginald E. Basset is very rich. He has important things to do. But in spite of all his wealth and activity, he feels something is missing in his life. One day, while gazing out his office window, he notices children who seem to be enjoying themselves in the park. What could be making them so happy? He calls for his butler and eagerly asks what the ...

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Overview

Each morning Mr. Reginald E. Basset wakes up in the big bedroom of his huge mansion. And each morning brings more of the same: contracts, payrolls, and purchases. Reginald E. Basset is very rich. He has important things to do. But in spite of all his wealth and activity, he feels something is missing in his life. One day, while gazing out his office window, he notices children who seem to be enjoying themselves in the park. What could be making them so happy? He calls for his butler and eagerly asks what the children are doing. When his butler replies, "They're playing, sir," Reginald E. Basset realizes what he's been missing. He decides then and there what he wants: He wants to play. But will play be enough to make Reginald E. Basset happy? Dominic Catalano's humorous story, with big, bold illustrations, features an endearing hound who's on a quest to discover the important things in life.

Dominic Catalano is the author and illustrator of Santa and the Three Bears and Frog Went A-Courting. He lives in Ohio.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Poor Mr. Reginald E. Basset! Although "wealthy beyond anyone's wildest dreams," and busy with his important business, he feels something is missing in his lonely life. When he sees children happily at play, he makes a list of what they are doing to try to do the same. But each activity, however well organized, fails to satisfy. His health declines. One day while watching a ball game, he catches a ball and becomes involved. He realizes what he has been missing: playing with friends. We smile along as the text slyly mixes people behavior with pooch, and Basset takes on the role of wealthy entrepreneur without losing his doggy-ness. Detailed scenes and engagingly conceived anthropomorphic characters in intense colors create a soft but richly furry affect. The pages are designed for close reading, with odd bits and subtle touches to add fun. But it is the artist's skill in portraying character and exposing emotions that make the strongest impact. 2003, Boyds Mills Press,
— Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 3-Something is missing in Mr. Basset's life. Rich beyond his wildest dreams, the hound enjoys a mansion and a private butler, but is unfulfilled-until he sees puppies and kittens playing outside. "By my grandmother's tail, I know what I've been missing!- I want to play!" He orders his butler to purchase the same things with which the little ones amuse themselves. But instead of getting a toy boat and horse, musical instruments, and paint and paper, Walter buys a 60-foot yacht, a trip around the world to collect art, a real horse, and a symphony orchestra. But none of it suits sad and depressed Mr. Basset, who ultimately takes to his bed. Finally, Walter insists that his employer go outside, and a pajama-clad Mr. Basset accidentally catches a passing ball. Voil ! Mr. Basset has found the key to his happiness: youngsters to play with. Large, bold illustrations fill the pages with color, bringing these well-dressed characters to life with personality and humor.-Leslie Barban, Richland County Public Library, Columbia, SC Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Wealthy, serious businessdog Mr. Basset learns the value of friends and play in this humorous cautionary tale. With the help of his terrier servant, Walter, Mr. Basset explores a too-rich adult's idea of play: they buy a 60-foot yacht, collect works of art, and try horseback riding, but none of these pursuits satisfies Mr. Basset. He grows sad and withdrawn, until "his nose was warm and his fur had lost its luster." Faithful Walter looks out the window one day at puppies and kittens playing ball, and suddenly realizes what Mr. Basset has been missing: friends. Walter takes Mr. Basset outside, where the depressed dog growls at the sight of the youngsters, until a ball sails his direction and he catches it in spite of himself. From there, it's easy to join in the game, and the next day, Mr. Basset bounds out of bed, eager to play with his friends, including Walter. The text is full of phrases and words that remind readers the main characters are dogs; Mr. Basset "barks" and "whimpers" his words instead of "saying" them, and doggy expressions like "a list as long as the hind leg of a greyhound" add humor. The art is also full of such details: Mr. Basset's important morning reading includes the Dog Street Journal and the Daily Wag; a computer on his desk is logged onto Barksberg.com. The large size of the soft, bright illustrations and the clear design make this a good choice for sharing with friends. (Picture book. 5-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781590783146
  • Publisher: Boyds Mills Press
  • Publication date: 8/28/2004
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 5 - 7 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 11.10 (h) x 0.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Dominic Catalano has illustrated many books for children, including Mr. Basset Plays, which he also wrote. He lives in Perrysburg, Ohio.

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