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Gooseberry Park
     

Gooseberry Park

4.2 23
by Cynthia Rylant, Arthur Howard (Illustrator)
 

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The touching story of an unusual friendship, from one of today's most masterful children's book writers. Now repackaged with an updated look and feel.

You could call it unusual. Strange in fact. Most dogs chase squirrels. But not Kona. He's friends with a squirrel. A squirrel named Stumpy. Kona thinks Stumpy's the best thing since chocolate doggie treats.

So

Overview


The touching story of an unusual friendship, from one of today's most masterful children's book writers. Now repackaged with an updated look and feel.

You could call it unusual. Strange in fact. Most dogs chase squirrels. But not Kona. He's friends with a squirrel. A squirrel named Stumpy. Kona thinks Stumpy's the best thing since chocolate doggie treats.

So when a dangerous ice storm hits Gooseberry Park, all Kona can think about is Stumpy -- and her newborn babies. Can they survive in the freezing cold? Kona wants to help. But the journey to Gooseberry Park is icy and treacherous. It will be a difficult, risky trip. But sometimes, a dog will risk it all -- for a best friend.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
An assortment of domesticated pets and untamed creatures band together to help a friend in need in the Newbery Medalist's rollicking animal tale. At the center is Stumpy, a squirrel who gives birth to triplets shortly before her nest in Gooseberry Park is destroyed by an ice storm. Thanks to the ingenuity of Gwendolyn, a Labrador owned by a retired professor; Kona, a wise old hermit crab; and a prankster bat named Murray, Stumpy's babies are rescued and taken to cozy quarters in the professor's basement. The problem? Having left the newborns under the care of Murray, Stumpy has wandered off for help and cannot be found. The adventures of Gwendolyn, Kona and Murray as they nurture the baby squirrels, raid the professor's cupboards and eventually devise a scheme to reunite Stumpy with her brood add up to first-rate entertainment. Readers will relish every moment of this impeccably paced fantasy and its winning depictions of the unique perspectives and quandaries of four unlikely companions. Ages 8-12. (Oct.)
Children's Literature - Karen Williams
Gooseberry Park is home to Stumpy the squirrel and Murray the media-minded bat. Stumpy's best friend Kona (named after his master's favorite coffee) visits the park as often as his master permits. Kona waits with anticipation along with Stumpy's friends as Stumpy prepares her nest. She will soon have children. When the happy day arrives, news travels fast. But soon a storm threatens life in the park and Stumpy's cozy home. The storm brings out the best in some and the worst in others. With the events that follow, readers will find joy and sorrow, fear and adventure, and worry and anticipation. The writing is quick-paced and effective. Rylant uses an economy of words without sacrificing quality in this winsome story that old and young alike will enjoy.
School Library Journal
Gr 3-5-Kona, an earnest Labrador retriever; Gwendolyn, a wise hermit crab who has been reincarnated 17 times; Murray, a loopy, Chinese leftover-eating bat; and Stumpy, a squirrel, come together during a terrible ice storm in Gooseberry Park to save Stumpy's three babies. Rylant's spare prose results in a trim tale. She does a beautiful job of creating the players, deftly drawing personalities. Murray, in particular, with his occasional snide remarks, is charming. From the humor, especially the wordplay and sarcasm, the book appears to be intended for the older elementary-school crowd, though the annoyingly smug tone of the omniscient narrator, particularly in the first chapter, might put them off. The plot holds together well, even though the oblivion of Kona's absent-minded master, Professor Albert, stretches it a trifle thin. If readers can get past the first few chapters, they will find a story they will want to finish. Howard's appealing black-and-white cartoons appear throughout.-Patricia A. Dollisch, DeKalb County Public Library, Decatur, GA
Ilene Cooper
Rylant's latest gets off to a slow start: an introduction to the nesting instinct in humans and squirrels--squirrels because Stumpy the squirrel is having babies and needs to find a place for them all to live. The story doesn't really pick up until a vicious ice storm blows in, forcing Stumpy out of her pin oak in Gooseberry Park. Stumpy disappears, leaving her friends Kona the chocolate Labrador retriever and Murray the bat, assisted by Gwendolyn the hermit crab, to find Stumpy's babies and care for them until Stumpy can be found. The book is surprisingly uneven. The animals are personable enough, although in a stock-character sort of way, but the babies get no role at all, and, of course, Stumpy is missing for half the book. As for the story itself, Rylant seems to be rushing through it. Not a first selection, but considering the author's reputation, many libraries will want to have it on hand.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780590947152
Publisher:
Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
12/28/1998
Series:
Apple Signature Series
Edition description:
REISSUE
Pages:
144
Product dimensions:
5.56(w) x 7.62(h) x 0.39(d)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

Meet the Author


CYNTHIA RYLANT is the acclaimed author of many beloved books for young people, including the Mr. Putter & Tabby series, the novel Missing May, which received the Newbery Medal, and the Little Whistle series. She lives on an island in Puget Sound, Washington. ARTHUR HOWARD is best known as the illustrator of Cynthia Rylant's Mr. Putter & Tabby series. He is also the illustrator of Kathi Appelt's Bubba and Beau series and has written and illustrated three picture books of his own: Hoodwinked; When I Was Five, an ABA's Pick of the Lists and a Crayola Kids Best Book; and Cosmo Zooms, an IRA-CBC Children's Choice. He lives in New York City.

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