Tag Archives: dogs

Our Animal Friends at Maple Hill Farm

By Alice and Martin Provensen. Aladdin Books, 2001

Who lives at Maple HIll Farm? People live here. Two dogs and five horses live here. A pig lives here. Then there are — some geese, lots of chickens, a few cows, a few goats, several sheep, and four special cats…

I can’t imagine a better picture book for any animal-loving kid. On each page are illustrations of the dogs, horses, pigs, cats, chickens and goats who live (or used to live) on the author’s real Straatsburg, NY farm, followed by verbal snapshots of their unique personalities. For instance, the big rooster, aptly named Big Shot, doesn’t like children. Willow the cat “is very beautiful, but not very interesting.” And Whiney the sheep is always lost and never knows where the gate is. My kids can look at these gorgeous, simple drawings forever. We’ve decided we all want to live at Maple Hill Farm.

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Ideas, sound effects and pictures by Stephen Michael King

Roaring Book Press, 2008

No running text in this small book, just the occasional sound effect — the snip, snip of a mother’s eager scissors, the pitter, patter, splot of  a trickling shower. But the gorgeously simple drawings do a fine job of telling the story. Continue reading

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Dig Ivan Dig!


By Wendy Ann Gardner

Hyperion, 2002

Four o’clock on the fifth floor, life for Ivan was such a bore. He had space to roam and run, but nothing that he thought was fun. Though his loft was nice and big, all he wanted to do was…dig.

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The Paperboy


Story and paintings by Dav Pilkey

Scholastic, 1996

The mornings of the paperboy are still dark and they are always cold even in the summer. And on these cold mornings the paperboy’s bed is still warm and it is always hard to get out — even for his dog…but they do.

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Gomer & Little Gomer


By R.A. Herman, Illustrations by Steve Haskamp

Dutton Children’s Books, 2005

Gomer loves to feel the wind rushing past his ears. He loves to bring the stick back to Donna and get a pat on his head.

The word “cute” gets a bad rap. We tend to equate it with trying hard but falling noticeably short of a goal. Girls who aren’t gorgeous are “cute.” Kids who sing off-key during a school recital: “cute.” And so on. But when I say that Gomer, a short tale about a sensitive Golden Retriever who loses his stuffed dog in the park, is one of the cutest books I’ve ever read, I mean it as a compliment. It’s sweet without being cloying. Gently suspenseful. And the charming, funny ending hits it out of the park. Just prepare for your child to contract some major Puppy Fever, thanks to the cute illustrations.

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