Spunky Tells All

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Overview

Spunky the dog would be happy to share all of his secrets, if only his human family spoke his language. But no matter how hard he tries to talk, it's all "yerf!" to them. Through a series of unfortunate miscommunications, his family decides that Spunky wants a friend—specifically, a cat. Spunky can't imagine anything worse than having to share his family, especially Huey and Julian, with the snobby  Balinese Fiona. But when headstrong Fiona keeps getting into...

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Spunky Tells All

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Overview

Spunky the dog would be happy to share all of his secrets, if only his human family spoke his language. But no matter how hard he tries to talk, it's all "yerf!" to them. Through a series of unfortunate miscommunications, his family decides that Spunky wants a friend—specifically, a cat. Spunky can't imagine anything worse than having to share his family, especially Huey and Julian, with the snobby  Balinese Fiona. But when headstrong Fiona keeps getting into trouble and it's up to Spunky to save her, he is astonished to find that being her protector has given his life new purpose and meaning.

The latest addition to the beloved Huey and Julian series, which includes the popular The Stories Julian Tells (featured on an Oprah.com summer reading list).

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Cameron has written another top-notch entry in the Julian and Huey series, this time from the brothers’ pup’s perspective.” —School Library Journal, Starred Review

 

“Readers will enjoy this pet story told from the pet’s viewpoint.” —Booklist

 

“Dog fans…will delight in Spunky’s tail-wagging tale-telling, which could introduce a new generation of kids to the Bates family chronicles.” —BCCB

 

“…this is a beginning chapter book that begs to be read.” —Horn Book Magazine

 

"Readers ready for chapter books will delight in seeing the world through Spunky’s eyes and powerful nose." —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

Spunky Tells All is a beautiful tale of human, cat, and dog finding friendship together. I loved it. It speaks with deep spirit and fine observation of small telling things in a way that young humans will understand.” —Paula Fox, author of the Newbery Award winning The Slave Dancer

“I loved going back inside Huey and Julian's world, but this time, through the eyes of the wise and loyal Spunky. A book with humor, heart, and a lovable dog. Who could ask for more?"—Barbara O’Connor, author of How to Steal a Dog

“I fell in love with Spunky who, in his own words, is a considerate Dog and only tries to do what is best for his human family. His tale, both charming and hilarious, will make readers laugh out loud—and pay much closer attention to what their own dogs are really saying.”—Ann M. Martin, author of Everything for a Dog

Children's Literature - Sue Poduska
This is the delightful tale of Spunky and his Humans. Spunky, a rescued mutt of about five human years, has found new and different ways to get into trouble. Spunky explains to the reader he was merely trying to teach his boy. If the boy broke his pencils in half, he would have twice as many pencils. If Humans would hold objects such as socks in their mouths, they would have much more smell information about the world. His Humans decide Spunky needs companionship in the form of a Balinese kitten. Fiona, the cat, treats Spunky with disdain until he becomes her hero. She wants to drink his water and soak his crunchy Nibbles in the water. She wants to sleep in the Boy-Sleeping Room in the Blanket Cave with Spunky and the boy. Spunky is always willing to accept Fiona and further her education. The author's ability to look at the world through the eyes of another being is admirable and spot on. The illustrations are lively and complement the text well. Reviewer: Sue Poduska
Kirkus Reviews

The beloved family of Julian and Huey Bates (The Stories Julian Tells, 1981, etc.) is back after a long hiatus. Spunky, their mixed-breed dog, hilariously reveals all about his humans and realizes his purpose in life.

No matter how hard Spunky concentrates and how earnestly he explains himself, his family is unable to hear him. This leads to one unintended consequence: The family adopts a cat, Fiona, thinking that Spunky needs a friend to play with. Fiona does just what she wishes, while Spunky is true to his nature and just wants to please his family and follow the schedule—except when he is chewing socks and breaking pencils. Through first-canine narrative, readers get right into Spunky's mind, sharing his frustrations at Fiona's lack of reflection and his humans' inability to figure things out. Amusing descriptions of the house—Boy Sleeping Room, White Pond Room (bathroom), Family Lie-Around Room—keep young readers laughing, and lots of action (the best of it in the White Pond Room) keeps the pages turning. Spunky's love of his boy, Huey, will bring a tear to the eyes of dog lovers, too. Castillo's perfect black-and-white spot drawings capture the energy and intelligence of both animals as they begin the careful dance of new friendship.

Readers ready for chapter books will delight in seeing the world through Spunky's eyes and powerful nose.(Fiction. 8-11)

School Library Journal
Gr 3–5—Cameron has written another top-notch entry in the Julian and Huey series, this time from the brothers' pup's perspective. Who knows all of a family's secrets? The dog, of course. Spunky lets readers in on all the details of the Bateses, right down to the complex smells of each family member. The tragedy is that even though he understands them, they don't always understand him. They misinterpret Spunky's off-the-wall behavior and deduce that they need another pet to help diffuse some of his energy. Enter Fiona, a purebred cat with an attitude. She and Spunky are at odds from the get-go, due to her egocentricity and skewed view of how the world works (for example, she thinks that if she puts Spunky's food in the water puddles on the floor, wolves won't come to the house). Even so, Spunky comes to the rescue when Fiona's life is in danger, which knits the whole family closer together. Spunky joins the ranks of stellar animal narrators, on par with Harold, the dog from James Howe's Bunnicula (Atheneum, 1979). Readers will be simultaneously tickled by his canine observations and moved by the profound connection between dog and family. Huey and Spunky's shared dream is particularly poignant, and may very well move dog lovers to tears. Though the narrative doesn't need embellishment, thickly outlined illustrations pepper the text, giving readers a visual reference for some of Spunky's antics. A gem.—Amy Holland, Irondequoit Public Library, NY
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780374380007
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • Publication date: 10/11/2011
  • Pages: 112
  • Sales rank: 778,830
  • Age range: 8 - 11 Years
  • Lexile: 610L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.74 (w) x 7.84 (h) x 0.65 (d)

Meet the Author

Ann Cameron is the author of many books for young readers, including The Stories Julian Tells and the National Book Award finalist The Secret Life of Amanda K. Woods. She lives in Portland, Oregon.

Lauren Castillo is the illustrator of many books for young readers, including Alfie Runs Away by Kenneth Cadow. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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Customer Reviews

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