Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Spunky Tells All” as Want to Read:
Spunky Tells All
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Spunky Tells All

3.64  ·  Rating Details  ·  188 Ratings  ·  50 Reviews
Spunky the dog would be happy to share all of his secrets, if only his human family spoke his language. But no matter how hard he tries to talk, it's all "yerf!" to them. Through a series of unfortunate miscommunications, his family decides that Spunky wants a friend--specifically, a cat. Spunky can't imagine anything worse than having to share his family, especially Huey ...more
Hardcover, 112 pages
Published October 11th 2011 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Spunky Tells All, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Spunky Tells All

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 398)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
This is the best early chapter book I've read in years. I love the way Spunky's mind works, and how he sees the world, especially his family and the new cat they adopt. Two of my favorite Spunky quotes: "A good Dog can’t help being good. It’s tragic," and "On sad nights, a good Dog will never leave his boy’s face unlicked." I'm going to be pushing this one hard with all my young animal-loving library patrons.
"Spunky"'s a wonderful read that would also make a great classroom or family read-aloud. It's certainly the closest I've ever felt to being inside a dog's head. Cameron uses the beginning-chapters-level vocabulary to give Spunky a voice that's funny, thoughtful, and true.

A few excerpts--

*when Huey, Spunky's boy, can't play with Spunky because of homework:

"What is homework? Why is homework? I do not know. For thousands of years, we Dogs have passed on to new generations the knowledge of how to s
Ardea Smith
Sep 07, 2013 Ardea Smith rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reading-log
Title / Author / Publication Date: Spunky Tells All/Ann Cameron/2011

Genre: Fiction

Format: Hardcover

Plot summary: Called a troublemaker by his human family, a reflective dog defends himself and then relates the family's adoption of an aristocratic but incompetent cat, who gives him a life purpose and and new way of looking at his world.

Considerations or precautions for readers advisory: None.

Review citation: Carter, B. (2011). Spunky Tells All. Horn Book Magazine, 87(6), 95.

Section source used
Tara Strosnider
Aug 25, 2015 Tara Strosnider rated it it was amazing
Spunky Julian and Huey's dog, has a great life. His family takes him for long walks, they feed him his favorite food Nibbles. Every night he sleeps in Huey's blanket cave, even though his family only hears Yerf! when he talks, he can forgive them for that. Then Spunky's family decides to adopt a snobbish disaster prone Balinese cat, Fiona and they misunderstand a really important yerf Spunk saying No!

Love how it's from Spunky's point finally a good book in dogs point of view relationship between
Feb 21, 2015 Christie rated it really liked it
My son's (age 6) review of the book:

"The book is about Spunky and the cat. Spunky is a dog. Fiona is a cat. Spunky doesn’t like cats. Spunky, um, was sniffing the sock and he bit on the sock and he hold it on. And Ralph opened his eyes and tried to get the sock out of Spunky’s mouth. And then he gets twirled around and around and around and around. He gets thrown at the wall. Then they get in the car and go get a cat that they named Fiona. She just says, “Down!” She climbs up a curtain. Spunky
Feb 01, 2016 Hollowspine rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya
Spunky is the family dog, he knows his boy Huey very well, but other family members are a mystery. I loved Spunky's view of the world, nothing is "whatever" to a dog, you have to decide yes or no. I loved the scene where he eats a bit of Ralph's sock so that Ralph will be a part of him forever.

However his family have a different view of events. Spunky's yerf doesn't translate into human! So when Spunky says he definitely doesn't need a cat friend, they hear it's time to adopt a cat! That's when
This is a fun book for middle grade kids, sort of a beginner's chapter book. The story is told from the perspective of the family dog. Spunky loves his family dearly, even though they don't understand him. He shares all of his doggy-wisdom with them, and all they ever hear is "Yerf!"

The family decides that Spunky needs a playmate, and so they all go down to the local animal shelter and come home with...a cat. Fiona turns Spunky's life upside down. It's fun to read all of the adventures these two
Spunky belongs to the Bates family; Julian, Huey, and their parents. Spunky loves his humans, but he's very aware of the "tragedy" that comes from them not being able to understand dog language. Fortunately for readers, their lack of understanding leads to some very funny situations - including the adpotion of a kitten named Fiona who smells of "foolish."

I am always impressed when an author can create a book for emerging readers that has great language, characters, descriptions and insights. Th
Jan 16, 2012 LJ rated it really liked it
Shelves: juvenile-books
Spunky is the story of a family and their pets as experienced by the title character, a mixed breed dog in the prime of his life. He has a good relationship with his family, and even if they do not understand "dog", he loves them anyways. So, as Spunky explains, he will be telling "almost all." The illustrations in this book simply and charmingly capture the essence of the pets. The cover image of a puzzeled Spunky conveys the heart of the story, which is of a dog attempting to communicate with ...more
Review first posted on LiterariTea

I'm a dog lover, to be sure. We had two mixed breed dogs (aka "mutts") for the first decade (roughly) of our marriage. Then, after an eight month gap, we recently rescued another mixed breed. So, a book like Spunky Tells All, in which a beloved family dog of indeterminate breed is narrating the story... well, it's a given I'll willingly give it a whirl.

It's easy to be cutesy when adopting an animal's "voice" in a book, but Cameron nails it. That is largely what
Nov 30, 2015 Elizabeth rated it really liked it
From the point of view of Spunky we learn how he feels to be part of a family and how much he is attached to Huey. The plot thickens half way through the book when a cat, Fiona, is introduced. Very fun! I have always loved the Julian and Huey books by this author (nine before this one) so I was so glad to see an addition to the series!
Jun 17, 2015 KathyP rated it did not like it
I read the first few chapters to my 6 year old daughter. It was too boring for me to continue. She said she'd read the next few chapters, because "there has to be some drama eventually". She stopped after a chapter or two more. We could not finish the book. We found it boring.
Very cute story from the point of view of the family dog. It has its funny moments, but it also manages to be poignant at times. Great for young animal lovers (early elementary) who enjoyed The Buddy Files books for its main character, a golden retriever.
Jan 10, 2016 Reagan rated it it was amazing
This is a story with a dog (Spunky), a cat, 2 boys, and a girl.
When Spunky's owners get a cat, Spunky saves her at least two times. Spunky tells his owners that she is in trouble.

I love this book! You have got to read it.
Anastasia Tuckness
If a family dog could talk, this book tells what he might say. He would tell you about the great Dog laws, like "never let go" when someone is trying to get socks out of your mouth (even if that someone is swinging you around the room. He would tell you about the family's Food Board, where they eat dinner. And, particularly, he would tell you why adopting a cat to be his friend is NOT a good idea.

Spunky loves his Boy and his family and is fiercely loyal to them, always trying to explain things t
This story is about Spunky the dog and a new animal that gets adopted into the family, Fiona the cat. At first Spunky doesn't like Fiona but by the end of the book they become friends. I thought this story about Spunky the dog is good for teachers who want to teach about narrative writing or using this book as a mentor text for an example "point of view". I would use this book to show 3rd or 4th grade students an example of authors who write books showing a different point of view. In this case, ...more
Nov 27, 2015 Roy rated it it was amazing
Very clever book told from the perspective of the dog. This is another book I have read to help one of my children at school and that I am glad I have read!
Amanda Harrison
Spunky tells all is a very cute book about a dog named Spunky who lives with the tragic circumstances of having a family who doesn't understand dog. While students would get enjoyment out of reading this story themselves, they would probably benefit from a teacher-led discussion about some of the concepts, for example when Spunky is contemplating how the universe is arranged.

This book is printed with a little bit bigger font than many books for older children, which would benefit many children.
Mar 07, 2016 Carterkempgmail.Com rated it liked it
Shelves: dogs
Takes place in Cameron's "Julian" world, which is nonetheless nearly unrecognizable due to its being told by the family dog, Spunky.
Kristie Stauffer
Jul 14, 2015 Kristie Stauffer rated it liked it
I do think young children would like the novelty of this book being written from the dog's perspective. It is a cute children's book.
Mar 28, 2014 Debbie rated it liked it
I enjoyed this easy read. My favorite part was Spunky's narration. I know if our dogs could talk they would sound just like Spunky!
The Styling Librarian
Spunky Tells All by Ann Cameron, pictures by Lauren Castillo – I really honestly am baffled. I didn’t realize that Ann Cameron lived in Portland, Oregon until now. I just love her book series. I cued in on this new book from Spunky, a cute dog’s perspective, because it was selected as a Beverly Cleary Children’s Choice Award nominee. Quite a cute little story, especially when Spunky tried to warn the family about the horrendous choice they are making with their choice to adopt a cat and the chao ...more
Mar 08, 2016 Coral rated it really liked it
Loved reading this story from Spunky's point of view. Very creative and unique voice.
Jun 08, 2016 Bluepersuasion rated it really liked it
Shelves: 3rd-grade-and-up
Another great book from the dog's point of view.
Ashlee George
Feb 09, 2016 Ashlee George rated it really liked it
Shelves: edrd-314
I am so in love with this book. Spunky is a perfect name for spunky. I loved being inside the mind of this charming, and hilarious dog. This is also a great gender neutral book, because I mean, who doesn't love dogs?
Amy Kannel
Oct 06, 2014 Amy Kannel rated it liked it
A decent read-aloud...charming and clever at times.
Susan Kennedy
I was drawn to Spunky's story because it was told from a dog's perspective. I can see this appealing to young intermediate readers and would be useful in perspective lessons in writing. Paired with the author's other stories of Julien and Huey, students could make comparisons regarding POV. I checked this out of my local library, but will look to add this title and others about Julien and Huey to my late 2nd/early third collection.
Sue Poduska
Feb 13, 2012 Sue Poduska rated it really liked it
Delightful tale of Spunky and his Humans, this is part of a series. Spunky, a rescued mutt of about five Human years, has found new and different ways to get into trouble. Spunky explains to the reader he was merely trying to teach his boy. The author’s ability to look at the world through the eyes of another being is admirable and spot on. The illustrations are lively and complement the text well.
Feb 04, 2012 Kimberly.miller rated it liked it
This book is a fast read and quickly becoming a third grade class favorite. Highlights for me were the clever desciptions of the dining room table and bathroom from the perspective of animals. The book also touches upon changes in family structure and adapting to new additions. Classroom tie-ins could be discussions on perspective in writing, language/vocabulary, and adapting to changes at home.
Feb 26, 2012 Kelley rated it liked it
Very creative children's book showing the perspective of Spunky, the family dog, and his experiences as a misunderstood dog. Because of miscommunication, the family thinks Spunky wants them to get a cat. Although a rough start, Spunky ends up saving the cats life and becoming good friends. I think this would be an excellent book to use when teaching perspective or point of view.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 13 14 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Lulu and the Duck in the Park
  • Snake and Lizard
  • Sadie and Ratz
  • 8 Class Pets + 1 Squirrel ÷ 1 Dog = Chaos
  • Space Taxi: Archie Takes Flight
  • Tales of Bunjitsu Bunny
  • Letters to Leo
  • The Legend of Diamond Lil (J.J. Tully Mystery #2)
  • Earwig and the Witch
  • Rescue on the Oregon Trail (Ranger in Time, #1)
  • Waylon! One Awesome Thing
  • Lulu Walks the Dogs
  • Big Mean Mike
  • Like Bug Juice on a Burger (Eleanor, #2)
  • The No. 1 Car Spotter (No. 1 Car Spotter, #1)
  • Buddy (Dog Diaries #2)
  • Home Sweet Horror
  • Invisible Inkling
Ann Cameron grew up in Wisconsin. Today, she and her husband live in Guatemala. From her house she can see a waterfall and three volcanoes. Ann Cameron has been a teacher and an editor as well as a writer.

She says that writing is hardest for her at the beginning of a book. To get started, she follows this important rule for writing: "Apply seat of pants to bottom of chair."
More about Ann Cameron...

Share This Book