Mr. Putney's Quacking Dog


From Jon Agee ("a comic master," SLJ), a hilarious book of animal riddles
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From Jon Agee ("a comic master," SLJ), a hilarious book of animal riddles
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Mr. Putney has the bald pate, brushy mustache, and unsmiling stare of a stereotypical schoolteacher--the better to cast deadpan expressions at his oddball collection of animals, from an industrious "boa constructor" to a "clangaroo" that wears cymbals on its hands and feet. Agee (The Retired Kid) arranges this word game so that readers get a question and visual clues, then can identify the creature with a turn of the page. Following an image of a scaly brown critter on a nightstand ("Who wakes Mr. Putney up in the morning?"), Agee introduces the alarmadillo. When a red shellfish splashes Mr. Putney with green soup ("What do you call Mr. Putney's messy lunch companion?"), he presents the slobster. Even wordplay amateurs stand a chance of naming the title's quacking dog (a duckschund who barks--or is that buacks?--"Quarf!"). The visual contrast between the fussy-looking Mr. Putney and the various animal mutants is played up by the juxtaposition of the creatures' irreverent exclamations ("Yo!" shouts the alarmadillo) with Mr. Putney's dry delivery--"Comfy?" he asks the cramel that's shoved into his backpack. All ages. (Aug.)
Children's Literature - Leona Illig
The game is on! Mr. Putney has a large number of fantastic animal friends, and all of them have crazy names to match their unusual characteristics. In a series of riddles, the author challenges the reader to guess the animals' names based on the clues provided. For example, "alarmadillo" is the answer to the riddle of which animal wakes Mr. Putney up in the morning. The animals' mixed-up names are clever word plays, and children and their parents can work together to guess the answers. The illustrations in the soft-cover book are entertaining and colorful without being overwhelming. This is an amusing riddle book that should get a lot of smiles. It will entertain youngsters with its comical illustrations, but it will be especially funny to those children who are already reading, since they will be able to see the relationships between the real animal names and the made-up ones. In many ways this book is reminiscent of the wonderful Sandra Boynton books, with its gentle, offbeat humor. Reviewer: Leona Illig
School Library Journal
Gr 4—Mr. Putney's unusual animal friends become the platform for a guessing game that will nudge children's creative thinking while giving them plenty to laugh about along the way. The opening spread poses the question, "Who wakes Mr. Putney in the morning?" The accompanying illustration depicts an armadillo staring at an alarm clock as the man dozes on. When the page is turned, the creature shouts, "YO!" awakening him and hence fitting the label: "An Alarmodillo." A bevy of other quirky pairings introduces the man's other friends: "Who is snooping on Mr. Putney?" a "Spyena," and "Who is Mr. Putney trying to put on a diet?" an "Oranguton." Clue-packed pictures add to the fun. Agee fills out the spreads with thick-lined, soft-colored, comedic pictures. A great choice for fans of punnery and where other of Agee's books are popular.—Barbara Elleman, Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, Amherst, MA
Kirkus Reviews
Continuing the master wordplay displayed in his previous titles about anagrams, oxymorons, palindromes and spoonerisms (Orangutan Tongs: Poems to Tangle Your Tongue, 2009, etc.), Agee introduces Mr. Putney and invites readers to guess the names of his odd menagerie of animal friends in a series of 20 sly riddles. A perfect marriage of his dry, quirky humor with his signature flat illustrations in heavily outlined watercolors results in delightfully mind-stretching fun. For example, unflappable Mr. Putney looks on as a snake in a hard hat builds a hot tub. Who is he?—a boa constructor, of course! While the knitting walrus may be relatively easy to guess—a woolrus—others are true stumpers or laugh-out-loud ridiculous in the best sense, from the alarmadillo that wakes him in the morning to the guardvark that watches over his house at night. Get ready to ponder, giggle and fully appreciate. Sure to appeal to a wide range of ages—a real end-of-summer treat. (Nonfiction. 6 & up)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780545162036
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 8/1/2010
  • Pages: 48
  • Sales rank: 1,397,533
  • Age range: 4 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.06 (w) x 11.08 (h) x 0.51 (d)

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