Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Parents' Choice Awards : Books : Picture Books


Spring 2008 Picture Books
Ages: 4 - 8 yrs.
Author: Emily Jenkins
Illustrator: Pierre Pratt
ISBN: 978-0-374-37009-1
Hardcover Price: $16.95
Animal experts know that a dog's sense of smell is far superior to that of any human-estimates range from twenty times stronger than a human nose up to potentially even millions of times stronger. But this fact means little to Dumpling, the star of Emily Jenkins's new picture book, . Dumpling is a bright and obedient pet, but unfortunately for her she also lacks a sense of smell. While this doesn't typically cause a problem for her human companions, it does alienate Dumpling from other dogs. She can't bond with them over smells in the park, or pick up the scent of a nearby cat to chase. Her loneliness comes to end, however, when her family moves to the country, where Dumpling makes her first animal friend. But now there's a new problem--her pal is a skunk who can't help spraying the dog as they play. Dumpling's inability to smell means that she isn't bothered in the least by the odor; but her owners feel otherwise. Jenkins handles the whole stinky situation with humor, and Pierre Pratt's comic illustrations are a delight.
Zarina Mullan Plath   ©2008 Parents' Choice
Zarina Mullan Plath has undergraduate degrees in both biology and English. Her interests include cookbooks/culinary history, South Asian literature (especially in regards to South Asians in America), and, of course, children's literature. Her poetry is included in the anthology Sweeping Beauty (U. of Iowa Press, 2005). Zarina lives in Central Illinois with her husband, two children, and assorted pets.

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