Tale of Wagmore Gently

Overview

Like all dogs, Wagmore Gently can't help wagging his tail when he's happy. But Wagmore's tail is so big that one swish can clear the table, and one thump is like an earthquake! Mr. Gently warns him that if he doesn't keep his tail in check, Wagmore will have to miss the annual Trail Trekkers hike. Wagmore decides to control his tail by thinking only miserable thoughts. But it's hard to be miserable when you're on your favorite hike with your favorite boy. Just when Wagmore loses the battle with his tail, he saves...
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Overview

Like all dogs, Wagmore Gently can't help wagging his tail when he's happy. But Wagmore's tail is so big that one swish can clear the table, and one thump is like an earthquake! Mr. Gently warns him that if he doesn't keep his tail in check, Wagmore will have to miss the annual Trail Trekkers hike. Wagmore decides to control his tail by thinking only miserable thoughts. But it's hard to be miserable when you're on your favorite hike with your favorite boy. Just when Wagmore loses the battle with his tail, he saves the day and wins new appreciation from his family. This adventure starring an enthusiastic and lovable pooch will elicit smiles as big as Wagmore's tail.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The tail wags the dog (literally), but also saves the day in this somewhat shaggy picture book about a rambunctious pup. Wagmore's large and powerful tail seems to disrupt or destroy everything in its path ("A mere twitch can wreck a game of checkers"). As a result, the Gently family scolds their perky pet and threatens to leave him behind while they go on a favorite hike. Wagmore gamely studies psychological texts and practices self-control methods, with some success ("I am Master of my Tail, and I will not wag!"), earning him permission to go on the outing. But when young Jack Gently becomes lost during the hike, Wagmore reverts to his wagging ways, facilitating Jack's rescue. Unfortunately, Ashman's (Can You Make a Piggy Giggle?) uneven fish-out-of water story doesn't sustain the charm of its punny title. Many readers will quickly sympathize with Wagmore, who is often made to feel bad about doing what comes naturally. Bendall-Brunello's (Mouse, Mole and the Falling Star) jaunty pencil-and-watercolor illustrations convey Wagmore's peppy personality and constant motion. Throughout, talk balloons and thought bubbles offer humorous asides. Ages 4-8. (Sept.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-Like any other dog, when Wagmore Gently is happy, he wags his tail. His problem is that it is very large and bushy, so several moments of doggy joy can result in a destroyed room. Told he will not go on an upcoming hike if he can't control his offending appendage, the canine practices managing it. While on the outing, he uses his tail to save his boy, all is forgiven, and Wagmore is once again top dog in his family. Although there are a couple of moments of humor in this tale, the story is far-fetched and contrived. The illustrations are colorful, though uninspired, and Wagmore is the only well-drawn character. Susan Meddaugh's "Martha" has far more personality and charm.-Elaine Lesh Morgan, Multnomah County Library, Portland, OR Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Wagmore Gently is the spotted, long-tailed pet of the Gently family in this original tall tale from Ashman (Can You Make a Piggy Giggle?, p. 560, etc.). Anyone with a big dog knows that wagging tails can cause trouble in crowded homes, but the exaggerated antics of Wagmore’s tail cause extraordinary trouble, such as cracks in walls and suspicion of earthquakes, as well as the more usual overturned plants and broken lamps. Wagmore solves his own problem by reading some self-help books (Taming the Wolf Within is one of the titles) and learning to control his tail by controlling his thoughts. When young Jack Gently loses his way on a camping trip, Wagmore saves the day (and his young owner) by causing a geyser that enables a helicopter pilot to locate the lost boy and dog. Bendall-Brunello’s (Fox and Fluff, p. 1125, etc.) exuberant watercolor illustrations bring Wagmore to life, creatively showing Wagmore’s wacky tail in action. Lots of speech and thought balloons and the offbeat idea of a dog trying to control his own thoughts might make this offering a little hard to follow for some children, but others (especially those who march to a different drummer themselves) will find Wagmore a charming, gentle hero. (Picture book. 5-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780525469162
  • Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
  • Publication date: 9/16/2002
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 40
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: 550L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 9.40 (w) x 11.34 (h) x 0.37 (d)

Meet the Author

Linda Ashman is the author of Can You Make a Piggy Giggle? and many other picture books.

John Bendall-Brunello recently illustrated Mouse, Mole, and the Falling Star.

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