Skunkdog
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Skunkdog

by Pierre Pratt
     
 

Dumpling is a dog of enormous enthusiasm, excellent obedience skills – and no sense of smell. She doesn't care about flowers, garbage, or any of the other smelly things most dogs enjoy. As a result, Dumpling has no dog friends. With a useless nose, she can't relate. Dumpling is lonely . . . until she and her people move to the country. And then the good dog

Overview

Dumpling is a dog of enormous enthusiasm, excellent obedience skills – and no sense of smell. She doesn't care about flowers, garbage, or any of the other smelly things most dogs enjoy. As a result, Dumpling has no dog friends. With a useless nose, she can't relate. Dumpling is lonely . . . until she and her people move to the country. And then the good dog has to choose between obedience and friendship – with a skunk!

Ridiculous, touching, and a little bit disgusting, Skunkdog, with its lively storytelling and comic pictures, will spark conversations and giggles.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Pierre Pratt's pictures of the befuddled, oblivious Dumpling are utterly endearing.” —The Wall Street Journal

“Children will instantly relate...Important themes of loneliness, tolerance, friendship, and family emerge from this funny story. It will enrich storytime and linger long in the minds of young readers and listeners.” —Starred, School Library Journal

“The relatively long story has a strong narrative voice with rich language . . Pratt's paintings use bold strokes and deep hues against the background of brilliant green grass, with blurry shadows adding a dreamlike quality to Dumpling's story.” —Kirkus Reviews

“The lessons about loneliness and the, well, dogged pursuit of companionship are charmingly realized without any heavy-handedness, and young listeners are sure to enjoy the humor in clueless Dumpling's smelly predicament.” —Booklist

“This newest dog-driven story from Jenkins and Pratt proves again that author and illustrator are brilliantly simpatico.” —Starred, Publishers Weekly

“Jenkins . . . spins the tale nicely.” —Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

Publishers Weekly

Although it doesn't sail to the heights of That New Animal, this newest dog-driven story from Jenkins and Pratt proves again that author and illustrator are brilliantly simpatico. Enthusiastic, obedient, talented and even bilingual, Dumpling is beloved by her humans. Unfortunately, her anteater-like nose is useless. And that means "no dog friends. None. Without a sense of smell, she couldn't relate." How Dumpling finally gains a friend (its identity is hinted at in the title), and holds onto her companion against all odds makes for a touching tribute both to the hunger for connection and to the vitality of the human-dog bond. Jenkins writes in a thoughtful, urbane tone that never feels forced; when she uses a word like "paroxysms," it's out of respect for her audience's intelligence, not to win points with winking irony. And while Dumpling may have a malfunctioning nose, Pratt makes everything else about her marvelously expressive. Whether she's dutifully sitting for a caress or springing for joy, Dumpling's eager eyes, vigilant ears and sausagelike physique are like a valentine to all things doggie. Ages 4-8. (May)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Children's Literature - Mary Hynes-Berry
This is a story told from a dog's point of view. The hero, Dumpling, is a dog without a sense of smell—a quality that leaves him quite isolated from canine pals. But when his family moves from an urban to a rural setting, Dumpling encounters a black-and-white-striped creature he thinks he might make friends with. Since he does not have a sense of smell, he can not really identify what bothers his humans so much about this encounter. Pratt's illustrations reinforce the humor of the family's frantic efforts to "deskunk" Dumpling. At the same time, they help us empathize with the dog's determination to stick with his friend, now that he has finally found one, especially since his lack of smell means that whatever the skunk does does not bother Dumpling. This book might become an interesting trigger for a classroom discussion about likes and dislikes as personal preferences, based on what does—or does not—matter to someone about another's peculiarities. Reviewer: Mary Hynes-Berry
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Dumpling is a good dog in most respects, loving and caring. But she has a problem—unlike most dogs, she cannot smell anything, which means that she is unable to relate to other dogs and has no friends. When Dumpling and her people move out to the country, she encounters a black and white creature. It sprays her and leaves. Since it is a skunk, Dumpling's people are very upset; they go through many procedures trying to get rid of the smell that she is unaware of. But when the skunk returns, lonely Dumpling, despite being sprayed again, manages to make friends. Her people are dismayed, but Dumpling is delighted to welcome the skunk into her doghouse. As she enjoys playing with her new friend, her people learn to cope. Pratt plays the visuals for laughs, beginning with Dumpling's olfactorily-challenged long nose. The family overreacts to her smelly state; their attempts to eradicate the odor add to our fun, if not theirs. Those who have had unpleasant encounters with skunks may not be amused, but others should enjoy Dumpling's happiness. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal

K-Gr 3- Dumpling is a dog with no sense of smell and, consequently, no dog friends. When her people move to the country, she finds a big backyard, a sunny meadow, and ("Oh, my goodness!") a skunk that promptly sprays her. Her humans give her multiple baths, take her to the lake to roll in the sand, and buy tangerines and tomato juice. Though the boy warns her not to play with the "yucky, stinky skunk," she disobeys and is sprayed again. "She couldn't smell anything, so she didn't care." Dumpling and the skunk become the best of friends, sharing kibbles and watching the last of the sunset through the trees. Her kind, long-suffering people hold their noses, roll their eyes, and buy lots of tomato juice. In this tale that is reminiscent of those leisurely stories from another era, Jenkins uses a lot of detail and repetition. Pratt's sunlit illustrations are done in oils and portray a white dog with an elongated nose and a furiously wagging black tail who complements the black-and-white skunk. Children will instantly relate to the pup's skunk encounters and share stories of their own. Important themes of loneliness, tolerance, friendship, and family emerge from this funny story. It will enrich any storytime and linger long in the minds of young readers and listeners.-Mary Jean Smith, Southside Elementary School, Lebanon, TN

Kirkus Reviews
Jenkins and Pratt team up for a second canine-themed collaboration, this time focusing on a white dog named Dumpling and her unlikely friendship with a skunk. Although Dumpling has an extra-long snout and a large nose, she can't smell anything at all, and she has no dog friends since she can't participate in the normal canine olfactory introductions. After the family moves to the country, the lonely dog tries to befriend a skunk in the backyard with predictable results. Dumpling doesn't mind being sprayed by the skunk, but her suffering family must deploy all sorts of methods to get her clean. The skunk and the dog gradually become pals, playing in the backyard and sleeping on the afghan inside Dumpling's doghouse. The relatively long story has a strong narrative voice with rich language, but the humorous illustrations are the strongest feature. Pratt's paintings use bold strokes and deep hues against the background of brilliant green grass, with blurry shadows adding a dreamlike quality to Dumpling's story. (Picture book. 4-7)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780374370091
Publisher:
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication date:
04/29/2008
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
1,374,824
Product dimensions:
9.15(w) x 10.99(h) x 0.40(d)
Lexile:
AD800L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

EMILY JENKINS, who lives in Brooklyn, New York, and PIERRE PRATT, a Hans Christian Andersen Award nominee who lives in Montreal, Quebec, previously chronicled the doggy escapades of FudgeFudge and Marshmallow in That New Animal, a Boston GlobeHorn Book Award Honor Book and a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year.

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