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Posted June 18, 2011
Tess and the Dog Star by Gene and Iris Rotberg is an utterly charming story that is certain to become an instant children's classic. The young girl around whom the story centers, Tess, decides to hold a contest for the best-dressed dog, inviting dogs from all over the world to compete. The dogs come in droves to show off their costumes, travelling by car, airplane, skateboard, train, bus, horseback, parachute, tricycle, and motorcycle from all corners of the world to Tess's house in Colorado.
Each of the dogs' outfits represents their culture or their breed; among some of the contestants are: a French Poodle, "dolled up in the highest fashion--in lipstick and high heels--very elegant", a Scottish Terrier in a kilt and playing the bagpipes, and a German Shepherd wearing lederhosen. The international contestants provide parents with a fun way to teach children about different cultures in a manner that is accessible and entertaining to them. All of the dogs have outfits that represent them so well that Tess has a difficult time choosing a winner and children enjoy attempting to pick their favorite before the winner is revealed. The ending is a surprise for parents and children alike, with a truly unexpected winner of Tess's contest.
Bryn Barnard's beautifully rendered illustrations truly bring the story and the dogs to life, portraying the dogs with such expressive and comical facial expressions that they become almost human and take on unique personalities. The illustrations make for a truly stimulating visual feast of color and whimsical fun. Families will delight in reading this story together, laughing at the comical pictures of the dogs in their outfits and enjoying story-time with a tale that will become one of your child's most treasured storybooks. Tess and the Dog Star is a fresh story for children and is an excellent addition to any young reader's collection.
Posted June 7, 2011
Dog lovers (and even cat lovers) will appreciate "Tess and the Dog Star". A little girl decides to have a best dressed dog contest that brings a variety of dogs and owners from all over the world. This book is great because it truly celebrates the differences in us all. Matched with the great illustrations this has become a favorite in our household and one that I actually don't mind reading a few times over to the kids. Great book!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 30, 2011
Recently, I started picking up all types of books, which included children's books. My latest literature adventure was through the works of Gene Rotberg. Tess and The Dog Star is a wonderful book about a little girl and her fascination with various dogs. Tess' fascination is completely and amazingly about dogs to a specific point of indulging herself on a search. This specific search allowed Tess to view dogs all over the world. Furthermore, each dog was dressed up, which was an absolute charming touch to the story. Tess' dog contest allowed her to meet her selected favorite dogs. It was extremely difficult to pick a winner. As a reader, I absolutely enjoyed reading this book. Rotberg displayed various examples of getting though life's tasks. It usually quite difficult for children to fully grasp profound meanings, but through visuals and storytelling, children will understand the profound meanings of life. Rotberg definitely adds life to the book by including plenty of illustrations. My favorite part of the illustrations was the fact that there were actual conversations within the pictures. There were dogs asking amazing questions about their destinations and their expectations. When a person or in this case, an animal, is going to a new place, there can be a sense of nervousness. Rotberg does a great job with explaining that specific situation and explaining other situations as well. Another great example that was bestowed on the readers was the way Tess handled herself in a slightly stressful, but exciting situation. Tess had to deal with her dog contest, which was quite exciting. However, when you had to pick the best-dressed dog winner, it was quite a stressful predicament. Readers of all ages will realize that we have to learn to keep our composure in all situations and just kindly deal with issues by having fun. Great book and great lessons for children!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 29, 2011
"Emma Stopped the World" by Gene and Iris Rotberg (and perfectly illustrated by Macarena Vejan) is an inspiring gift to their grandchild Emma. Based on a real life incident, it has a context that (one) shows how far a child will go for something she loves, (two) how far a grandparent will go to please the child and (three) how easily even a child could set in motion something that could affect the entire world. Emma feels a child's need for her blanket and chaos ensues. It is a beautifully written story that stays on point. At the end it has an epilogue that asks several questions about what Emma would do when she becomes an adult. I know my choice, but you should read the book and make your own decision. It will be well worth your time. Your child will love this book.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 29, 2011
I love Gene and Iris Rotberg's "Tess and The Dog Star"! The story's premise is simple: A girl named Tess decides to hold a "best-dressed dog" contest, which results in a variety of canine breeds from around the world traveling to Colorado to enter the competition. The contestants dress up in outlandish costumes such as hula skirts, bikinis, and snow shoes and goggles. The book's illustrations, by Bryn Barnard, really caught my attention - colorful, creative, and very cute. The illustrations truly tell the story, but there's some very snarky, yet educational, prose, too. I won't spoil the ending, but let's just say my child and I were truly delighted and surprised. Besides being very entertaining, "Tess and the Dog Star" is very educational, too. The story includes references to several nationalities and their native dress and customs, allusions to Greek mythology, and there is even an astronomical connection. Though the story is about competition, the tale also emphasizes the beauty and goodness found in cooperation. This story is recommended for children ages 4-8, but I think children up to age 10 would also enjoy it in both home and school settings. Though some people disparage self-published books, I, frankly, think this title is as good, if not better, than a lot of books sold by traditional publishers when it comes to the quality of the storyline, diction, illustrations, and editing. I think it's great that current technologies and distribution channels provide authors, such as the Rotbergs, with opportunities to share their creative ideas with the world. If I were to make just one suggestion, it would be to encourage the authors to create some drama and dialogue between the contestants in the contest. .Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 27, 2011
There was a time that books had to be hand copied by scribes. When Johannes Gutenberg invented the modern movable type printing press around the year 1450, the world of publication was changed forever. For a long time, only the best books would be honored with publication. Then authors learned they can publish their own books via self-publication services. Anyone can write a book, have it published, and sell it to anyone who will read it. This is how Tess and the Dog Star became available. Tess is a child who loves dogs, and one day, she decides to have a contest to decide which dog is the best-dressed. She encourages her friends to enter their dogs in the contest. Then she encourages her friends to invite their friends to enter as well. Soon, she is receiving entries from all over the world. In order to make the final decision, she picks the contest finalists from their photos and invites them to come to her home in order to make choosing the best-dressed dog easier. All of the dogs arrive at her home. It is night time and it is very dark outside. Tess see that all of the dogs are looking skyward, apparently transfixed by the same thing. They are looking at the constellation Canis Major. Sirius, the Dog Star, is part of that constellation, and is chosen as the undisputed winner of the best-dressed dog contest. This is a cute story. Young readers (or listeners) up to age 9 or 10 would really enjoy this book. However, this book provides evidence that authors must have their books edited by a professional before they are submitted for self-publication. Every writer needs an editor, no matter how good they are. If the Rothbergs would have received the valuable assistance of an editor, their editor would have pointed out the need to strengthen certain parts of the story. Their editor also would have had the opportunity to clean the text up as well. As it reads now, there are multiple mistakes that would have been easy to correct. I would suggest cleaning these mistakes up before the next printing is ordered.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 25, 2011
As a mom of two kids, I am always looking for books that successfully illustrate life to kids. "Tess and the Dog Star," is a wonderful book that will teach your child about different ways of transportation, different weather climates and cultures all over the world, and different dog breeds and behaviors. The book has captivating illustrations that will really grab your child's attention and get them laughing and learning at the same time. Excellent book!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 24, 2011
As a homeschool mom, this book allows for great learning opportunities, such as all the various ways of transportation and discussing which ways they have traveled or could travels, as dogs from the world go to visit Tess. Even more learning comes with the descriptions of where the dogs came from and how they were dressed, representing their countries and culture, such as a Hawaiin Poi Dog in a hula skirt, a Scottish Terrier in a plaid skirt, playing bagpipes, a Saint Bernard from Switzerland in snowshoes and goggles, and a Golden Retriever in a golden cloak and golden crown.
Tess and The Dog Star has a delightful, unexpected ending, along with another lesson in astronomy and learning about the stars.
Posted May 24, 2011
Tess, like many children, loves dogs. One day, she decides to have a contest for the best-dressed dog. When one friend tells another, who tells yet another, the contest spreads like wildfire, reaching all the corners of the world. From a sombrero-donning Chihuahua and bikini-clad Portuguese water dog to English bulldogs and French poodles, they all arrived in grandiose fashion from different parts of the world. While some dropped in by parachute, others skateboarded and came on horseback. There were so many dogs to pick from, all just as deserving, how would Tess pick the winner?
The plot lends itself well to dog lovers and astronomy enthusiasts; however, the theme of working together is what stands out. "Tess and the Dog Star" is a great book for parents to read to their kids as it will teach them the meaning of teamwork and how to cope with stressful situations. Though Tess loves dogs, she is perplexed because she doesn't know which one is the winner. Instead of fretting and going crazy, she does the simple thing: sleep. Sometimes, it's best to let the situation take care of itself instead of stressing endlessly. To that end, this is a book that adults can take something from as well!
In any case, children will fall in love with the combination of story and stunning visuals in "Tess and the Dog Star." It's a must read.
Posted May 24, 2011
Tess and The Dog Star by Gene and Iris Rotberg is the perfect book for children and dog-lovers alike, winning readers over with its humorous and charming style. When Tess decides to hold a contest for the best-dressed dog, dogs from around the world come to her house in Denver to show off their outfits. There is a Greyhound in a tracksuit and Olympic gold medals, a Chihuahua from Mexico wearing a sombrero, and a Scottish Terrier in a plaid skirt and playing the bagpipes, among other breeds of dogs. Each dog's outfit represents their unique breed or country, teaching young readers about different breeds of dogs and making a fun book for dog-lovers. Bryn Barnard's illustrations bring the story to life, rendering each dog as beautifully and uniquely as they are in real life.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.