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That Doggone Calf

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Overview

What happens when an uppity calf who thinks he has a royal pedigree tries to take over the job of a no-nonsense guard dog? Dust flies and so do some pretty hilarious antics.

Cookie, a black-and-white belted Galloway calf, thinks that he has come to the farm to be in charge of the herd of cows. Hoss, the German shepherd, figures that Cookie can barely keep track of his own tail. The only thing the two stubborn animals have in common is their ...

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Overview

What happens when an uppity calf who thinks he has a royal pedigree tries to take over the job of a no-nonsense guard dog? Dust flies and so do some pretty hilarious antics.

Cookie, a black-and-white belted Galloway calf, thinks that he has come to the farm to be in charge of the herd of cows. Hoss, the German shepherd, figures that Cookie can barely keep track of his own tail. The only thing the two stubborn animals have in common is their loyalty to a young farm girl named Ann. So when Ann is in danger, the two rivals must figure out how to go from butting heads to putting their two heads together to save her.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Michele C. Hughes
Hoss is a farm dog, loyal and hardworking, and nothing can come between his love for his family and their farm. So when a high-spirited, willful calf named Cookie arrives on the farm determined to become the herd bull, Hoss experiences quite an upset. Between keeping Cookie in line, helping his pal Rex to chase rabbits out of the garden, and protecting little Anne from her own reckless immaturity, Hoss never does get that nap he has been planning. Told from Hoss's decidedly canine perspective, the story depicts him nobly and tenderly, with several examples of his self-sacrificial love for Anne. The characterization of the adults is spot-on, but at times the calf's dialogue feels forced and unnatural, even for a talking cow. In a questionable passage, Hoss alludes to how calves are made, a topic young readers may not be ready to think about. In the book's climax, Hoss's heroics in the face of grave danger are something to cheer about, but in the denouement, the story takes a disappointing turn with a didactic passage about how the kindness in Anne's eyes turned Cookie's attitude around. Animal lovers especially will enjoy Hoss's fresh perspective. Reviewer: Michele C. Hughes
School Library Journal
Gr 2–4—Hoss, a German shepherd, tells of the arrival of a new (and wild) calf to his "family's" farm. That doggone calf, named Cookie by youngest daughter Ann, has an attitude about everything and wants to be the head bull, but Hoss knows he has a lot to learn. However, when Hoss attempts to protect Ann from a pack of wild dogs, Cookie steps in and saves her, as well as Hoss, showing that he is much more than just an unruly, self-obsessed bull. This last adventure is exciting and keeps readers wanting to turn the page, but certain questions arise, such as why Hoss can talk to the farm animals and understand the humans, but he is unable to communicate with the wild dogs. The story drags in the beginning, and some of the writing feels a bit forced as it combines anthropomorphism with an attempt to think like a dog. The story, however, might be of interest to Dick King-Smith's fans.—Clare A. Dombrowski, Amesbury Public Library, MA
Kirkus Reviews
Hoss is boss dog on the farm, responsible for the safety of both cows and four-year-old Ann, but a new bull calf challenges his authority. The German shepherd narrates, stressing the indignities he suffers at the hands of the child, the many responsibilities that keep him from getting a good nap and the unpredictable behavior of the calf, who arrives bawling and brawling. Is Ann in danger? Can the calf calm down enough to become the new herd bull? Though calf and child quickly bond, there are genuine threats looming. Young readers attracted by the animal narrator may be disturbed by the lengthy, graphic dog fight in which Hoss attempts to protect his charge from being eaten by wild dogs. They will have no difficulty getting the message as Hoss learns that niceness is more effective than scare tactics for training a calf. The disruptive newcomer is a plot device the authors have used before; purchase where their other books are popular. (Fantasy. 9-12)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780823423033
  • Publisher: Holiday House, Inc.
  • Publication date: 7/28/2010
  • Pages: 160
  • Age range: 8 - 11 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Bill Wallace is a two-time winner of the Texas Bluebonnet Award and the recipient of a lifetime achievement award from the Oklahoma Center for the Book. He is the beloved children's author of popular titles such as A Dog Called Kitty and Coyote Autumn.

Carol Wallace has written popular easy readers including One Nosy Pup, which won the Garden State Children's Book Award. She has collaborated with her husband, Bill Wallace, on The Meanest Hound Around and other chapter books. Carol and Bill Wallace live in Chickasha, Oklahoma.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2010

    Wonderful Book

    This was a touching story and I loved the characters. I gave it to a friend as a birthday present and they absolutely loved the heart-warming story, also.

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