Skunkdog
Skunkdog
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Annotation: Dumpling, a lonely dog with no sense of smell, moves with his family to the country and makes a new friend who takes some getting used to.
Catalog Number: #4349529
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Copyright Date: 2008
Edition Date: 2008
Pages: 32
Availability: Available
ISBN: 0-374-37009-5
ISBN 13: 978-0-374-37009-1
Dewey: E
Language: English
Reviews:
ALA Booklist
The creators of the delightful That New Animal (2005) employ a similar level of empathetic tale-spinning and endearing character art in this story of a dog named Dumpling, who is missing the crucial canine heightened sense of smell. Poor Dumpling finds it hard to relate to her fellow pups, and when she and her family move to a house near the forest, doesn't even realize that the skunk she keeps trying to befriend is repeatedly leaving her with a rather pungent gift. Even as her family scrambles for the right concoction to rid her of the smell, Dumpling persists in chasing down the skunk again and again. Finally, charmed and assured by the dog's persistence and warmth, the skunk relaxes and accepts the offered camaraderie. The lessons about loneliness and the, well, dogged pursuit of companionship are charmingly realized without any heavy-handedness, and young listeners are sure to enjoy the humor in clueless Dumpling's smelly predicament.
Horn Book
As with the previous volumes, this book includes short rhyming stories to be read aloud by two voices, with the text color-coded for ease of use. The focus here is monsters and Halloween creatures. Despite the spooky title, Emberley's pencil, watercolor, and dry pastel illustrations play up the fun, not the frights, of the holiday.
Kirkus Reviews
Jenkins and Pratt team up for a second canine-themed collaboration, this time focusing on a white dog named Dumpling and her unlikely friendship with a skunk. Although Dumpling has an extra-long snout and a large nose, she can't smell anything at all, and she has no dog friends since she can't participate in the normal canine olfactory introductions. After the family moves to the country, the lonely dog tries to befriend a skunk in the backyard with predictable results. Dumpling doesn't mind being sprayed by the skunk, but her suffering family must deploy all sorts of methods to get her clean. The skunk and the dog gradually become pals, playing in the backyard and sleeping on the afghan inside Dumpling's doghouse. The relatively long story has a strong narrative voice with rich language, but the humorous illustrations are the strongest feature. Pratt's paintings use bold strokes and deep hues against the background of brilliant green grass, with blurry shadows adding a dreamlike quality to Dumpling's story. (Picture book. 4-7)
School Library Journal Starred Review
K-Gr 3 Dumpling is a dog with no sense of smell and, consequently, no dog friends. When her people move to the country, she finds a big backyard, a sunny meadow, and ("Oh, my goodness!") a skunk that promptly sprays her. Her humans give her multiple baths, take her to the lake to roll in the sand, and buy tangerines and tomato juice. Though the boy warns her not to play with the "yucky, stinky skunk," she disobeys and is sprayed again. "She couldn't smell anything, so she didn't care." Dumpling and the skunk become the best of friends, sharing kibbles and watching the last of the sunset through the trees. Her kind, long-suffering people hold their noses, roll their eyes, and buy lots of tomato juice. In this tale that is reminiscent of those leisurely stories from another era, Jenkins uses a lot of detail and repetition. Pratt's sunlit illustrations are done in oils and portray a white dog with an elongated nose and a furiously wagging black tail who complements the black-and-white skunk. Children will instantly relate to the pup's skunk encounters and share stories of their own. Important themes of loneliness, tolerance, friendship, and family emerge from this funny story. It will enrich any storytime and linger long in the minds of young readers and listeners. Mary Jean Smith, Southside Elementary School, Lebanon, TN
Starred Review for Publishers Weekly

Although it doesn’t sail to the heights of That New Animal, this newest dog-driven story from Jenkins and Pratt proves again that author and illustrator are brilliantly simpatico. Enthusiastic, obedient, talented and even bilingual, Dumpling is beloved by her humans. Unfortunately, her anteater-like nose is useless. And that means “no dog friends. None. Without a sense of smell, she couldn’t relate.” How Dumpling finally gains a friend (its identity is hinted at in the title), and holds onto her companion against all odds makes for a touching tribute both to the hunger for connection and to the vitality of the human-dog bond. Jenkins writes in a thoughtful, urbane tone that never feels forced; when she uses a word like “paroxysms,” it’s out of respect for her audience’s intelligence, not to win points with winking irony. And while Dumpling may have a malfunctioning nose, Pratt makes everything else about her marvelously expressive. Whether she’s dutifully sitting for a caress or springing for joy, Dumpling’s eager eyes, vigilant ears and sausagelike physique are like a valentine to all things doggie. Ages 4-8. (May)

Word Count: 1,450
Reading Level: 4.1
Interest Level: P-2
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 4.1 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 122604 / grade: Lower Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:5.3 / points:2.0 / quiz:Q44083
Lexile: AD630L

Dumpling is a dog of enormous enthusiasm, excellent obedience skills - and no sense of smell. She doesn't care about flowers, garbage, or any of the other smelly things most dogs enjoy. As a result, Dumpling has no dog friends. With a useless nose, she can't relate. Dumpling is lonely . . . until she and her people move to the country. And then the good dog has to choose between obedience and friendship - with a skunk! Ridiculous, touching, and a little bit disgusting, Skunkdog, with its lively storytelling and comic pictures, will spark conversations and giggles.


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