CM . . . .
Volume VII Number 17 . . . . April 27, 2001
The Strange Adventures of Blue Dog is the tale of a small wooden dog who is part of a miniature farm set. Life on the farm is quiet and predictable for the animals except when Big Billy comes to visit and play.After that, Blue Dog becomes Billy's "pet," and together they share many adventures including playing outdoors, going to school and visiting a real farm complete with live animals, barn and hay. The sweet-smelling hay makes the toy farm seem real to Blue Dog, and Billy's dream is realized the next day when he becomes the proud owner of a live dog named Blue. Blue Dog's days become quieter again now that Blue is on the scene, but each night he still rests happily, cupped in Big Billy's hand.
Jean Van Leeuwen's story is filled with rich, detailed language that flows smoothly and provides the reader with a strong sense of mood. For example:
"The moon rose. A soft beam of light reached down from the sky, coming to rest on Big Billy's pillow. Big Billy sighed. And suddenly Blue Dog felt the room flooded with longing."Ventura's large, bright, bold paintings greatly enhance the story of Blue Dog and are ideal for large-group sharing. While the plot of the story is rather predictable (most readers will guess early on that Billy will get a real dog) and some young readers may find Blue Dog's character confusing (how can he be real but not real?), overall, The Strange Adventures of Blue Dog is an endearing, positive reading and listening experience.
Lisa Sykes, who has worked as an early years teacher and teacher-librarian in Winnipeg, MB, is currently on maternity leave and enjoying her time at home with her two young children.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association.
Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice
is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without
Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.