________________ CM . . . . Volume IX Number 15 . . . . March 28, 2003


Stanley’s Party.

Linda Bailey. Illustrated by Bill Slavin.
Toronto, ON: Kids Can Press, 2003.
32 pp., cloth, $16.95.
ISBN 1-55337-382-0.

Kindergarten-grade 3 / Ages 5-8.

Review by Reesa Cohen.

**** /4


He put one foot on the couch and waited. Nothing happened. He put a second paw up.

Slowly, Stanley dragged his whole huge body onto the couch. He sat there nervously listening. He waited for some to yell. "STANLEY, GET OFF THE COUCH!"

But no one said a thing. So Stanley lay down. The couch was more comfortable than he'd ever dreamed. Stanley stretched out his legs. He put up his paws on the cushions. He sprawled and squirmed and sniffed the leather trim. The couch was wonderful!

internal art

Readers and dog lovers of all ages will be charmed by this humorous, well-illustrated story and the discovery that Stanley, an adorable dog, is a real "party animal."

     Stanley, a good dog, is left alone most nights while his owners are out till all hours. Over time, his curiosity wins out, and Stanley hesitantly does what he knows he shouldn't do... sit on the couch! The illustrations featuring Stanley stretched out on his sofa and the description of his naughty enjoyment is "laugh aloud" hilarious. Pleased by his new behavior, Stanley gets even bolder with each passing night, including playing music while trying out new dance moves, and even attacking the fridge. Cleverly, Stanley tidies up after himself to hide his risky behavior and is greeted by his owners with "Good Dog." But Stanley yearns for company to party with. Inviting friends is the answer. The guest list mushrooms, and before long, strange canines of all shapes and sizes crash the party. The many double-page illustrations depicting this wild night are full of humour, energy and general mayhem.

     Surprise! Stanley's owners arrive home early to witness a party gone wild. "Bad Dog!” However, there is good news. From this night on, Stanley must now accompany his owners when they go out. But Stanley's reputation lives on, and to this day, dogs all over the country still talk about Stanley's party.

     The artwork rendered in acrylics on gessoed paper are a true delight, full of colour and texture. Bill Slavin provides many comic touches. This is obviously a dog lover’s home with its bone design in the carpet and paw prints in the chair upholstery. Stanley is totally imbued with expressive personality and comes off as lovable and energetic. These exuberant and playful paintings are equally matched by Linda Bailey's imaginative and lighthearted text.

Highly Recommended.

Reesa Cohen is an Instructor of Children's Literature and Information Literacy at the Faculty of Education, University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, MB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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ISSN 1201-9364
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