This is another I just happened to see at the library while waiting to check out. The title caught my eye of course. When I first started reading I waThis is another I just happened to see at the library while waiting to check out. The title caught my eye of course. When I first started reading I wasn't sure I liked Kihn's writing but it grew on me as I kept going. He actually has a strange but likable sense of humor. I don't know much about dog competitions, it's not something that's ever interested me, so I did learn a good amount while reading. As interesting as it is I couldn't ever see myself doing it and I don't think I'd like my dog to listen to me to that extent. I want my dog to be able to stop on a walk and sniff - that's bad in my book. I want my dog to jump up on me to kiss me and say hello. As long as he knows who he can and can't jump on I'm okay with it. My dogs have always known this, without "proper" training. I'm still a little surprised I found this as interesting as I did considering how much of the book is about training. But Kihn can write and that makes all the difference in some cases. He intertwined the training, his problems, his marriage, etc. beautifully. And Hola is such a beautiful dog, inside and out, which is shown in her pictures and the stories about her. This isn't a quick one too, you won't have to spend much time on it. If you're really into dog stories and/or competition training I'd say give it a shot....more
This is more YA than Children's IMO. I think you also have to take into consideration what kind of kid is going to be reading/hearing this. The only rThis is more YA than Children's IMO. I think you also have to take into consideration what kind of kid is going to be reading/hearing this. The only reasons I deemed it okay to read with my daughter, who is 6, is because the topic isn't new to her, she knows a lot about what dogs go through and because she's pretty mature for her age. We actually borrowed two similar books and I decided we're going to wait awhile with the other one. If you're an animal lover this will take it's toll on you. It's not too harsh for the younger crowd and actually most of the dogs written about died naturally and of old age. But in between those you have the ones who died giving their life for their human(s). You have the ones who received horrendous wounds - to save their human(s). That's hard to read about no matter what for people like us. Mattern really did manage to convey how loved these dogs were - by their humans. Which leads me to their government. Unfortunately, the dogs weren't cherished nearly as much by everyone. They still aren't. As far as I know, ever since Vietnam, our military dogs have been considered "equipment" and nothing more by our government. (This is where "orders" would fly out the window for myself.) A lot of people have heard how our dogs were left, abandoned, in Vietnam when we left. I won't go into how I feel about that in particular... I could write for days. I will recommend two adult books however - fiction - Finding Jack: A Novel by Gareth Crocker and non - Always Faithful: A Memoir of the Marine Dogs of WWII by William W. Putney. Both are fantastic, fantastic, fantastic books. Gareth's reads like non-fiction. Both are highly emotional books written by talented men who truly, 100% love dogs. Mattern even mentions the Guam memorial to war dogs with the inscription 'Always Faithful' at the base of the Dobermans statue. She mentions how the War Dog Memorial Fund is trying to get a stamp to honor these heroes. Why would that ever happen though? You can't honor "equipment". Which is, as far as I know, still how our dogs are classified ever since Vietnam. (Something else Mattern touches on.) I've never seen equipment knowingly and selflessly save a man's life. It boggles my mind how horribly messed up this country was, is and will continue to be on so many different levels. That's a topic for another time though. Mattern also includes a number of websites to visit, ranging from memorials for those who died to the Beagle Brigade to the dogs of 9/11 to SAR dog stories. http://www.qmfound.com/War_Dogs_Bibli... is supposed to give a "thorough list of books and articles" about dogs from all branches of the military. I'll be checking that out shortly. I'd recommend but I'd recommend feeling your way through it and knowing beforehand what your child - and you - can handle.
**I should note that a good number of the links included in the book are broken. Many are no longer there or suspicious. Luckily Google comes in quite handy at times like these and very luckily the bibliography is still there.**...more
I didn't read the writing included here beyond the captions. I think that's why I liked it more than Awkward Family Photos. I do still have to say thouI didn't read the writing included here beyond the captions. I think that's why I liked it more than Awkward Family Photos. I do still have to say though, a number of these photos aren't awkward in any way. In some it's the animals body language or facial expression but what's awkward - or anything besides cute - about a dog sitting wearing a Santa hat?...more
This was a present for Julia this past Christmas. I wish the cover was shown because it's really a beautiful book - one that you'd hang on to just becThis was a present for Julia this past Christmas. I wish the cover was shown because it's really a beautiful book - one that you'd hang on to just because if for no other reason. It's going to take us a long time to finish - there are 26 different stories broken up into five different categories: Friends and Companions, Myths and Wonders, Tricks, Traps, and Mischief, The Hunters, and Tall Tales. Each one has between four and six stories and they're not of the usual length for a book like this. They're also different in how they were written. Instead of being written with the purpose of being published here these stories have been taken from others from years past. Some I've heard of, Black Beauty's Final Home is taken directly from Anna Sewell's Black Beauty for instance. (A book I read and loved and am saving for Julia.) Some, actually, most, I've never heard of, The Cat that Walked by Himself (never heard of it) by Rudyard Kipling (obviously heard of the author). So far we've read the first two and as we go I'll collect our thoughts here. It should be noted that many of these stories aren't written as they would be today. The language is ancient in a lot of cases and not all kids - or adults for that matter - are into that sort of thing. I'm not in fact. This has actually prevented me from reading certain classics in the past. Had I flipped through this more, and seen this, I'd have almost definitely passed it by. But it wasn't cheap and we're going to give it a shot.
***Friends and Companions***
1.) The Cat that Walked by Himself - taken from Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling - We both liked this one even with it's repetitiveness. I toned that down some where I could, thankfully it wasn't hard to do. But the story really is a good one and it grabs your attention because the animals featured, most especially the dog and cat, are still in everyday life. And cats still do, very much, walk by themselves.
2.) Dulce Domum - taken from The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame - Neither one of us liked this as much as Kipling's. I could tell easily that I was losing Julia a few times so I skipped a sentence or two that was so old-timey even I would have had to work to understand it and pushed on. It took two nights to read (this is our before-bedtime-book right now) and while it wasn't bad I can't say it ended too soon. I was worried Julia would be turned off by the entire book but luckily that didn't happen.
3.) Bucephalus - by James Baldwin (not sure which one so I won't link) - We read this one last night and it's the shortest one we've read so far. I liked it more than the last and Julia said she liked it well enough. It's about an "untamable" horse who is finally tamed by the 12-year-old son of a king who owned the horse. It' basically an 'animal serves its master well' sort of story. The horse dies at the end of the story and although it's not graphic the story does include an illustration of the man, older now of course, coming back from battle with about four arrows sticking out of his body. Blood trickling included. Julia was more fascinated than anything else but she's seen a lot in her six years, what with being so into animals and their lives.
4.) Black Beauty's Final Home - taken from Black Beauty by Anna Sewell - Not much to say. It's from Black Beauty. Anyone who has read that book already knows and anyone that hasn't read it should. I was a little surprised Julia was so into it. It took her a few minutes which was natural with the wording and the fact that the story doesn't have a typical beginning but by the end she was into it and she was happy when I told her I have a copy of the book just for her for when she's a little older.
5.) The Death of Gellart by P.H. Emerson - This is a short one, the shortest so far, and one I thought I wouldn't like. (I've been known to make assumptions based on nothing more than a title or cover at times.) Here, I assumed wrong. Leaving Black Beauty out of it, it was the best as yet. I'd like to read a whole story around this short one. I was a little worried when I saw where the story was going (man has dog and baby, dog is loyal, baby is killed, dog is blamed, dog ends up innocent but far too late). But I shouldn't have worried. If Julia's anything it's mature for her age. She tore the story apart (yikes... first descriptive word that came to mind, sorry) and talked and thought all about it and was finished with it.
***Myths and Wonders***
1.) The Labors of Hercules - by Mary E. Burt & Zenaide A. Ragozin - One would think I'd have learned my lesson with the previous story but one would be wrong. This is another I assumed wouldn't interest me that did from the very beginning. And yet again I was wrong. I'd have bet money that a 6-year-old wouldn't get into it, what with the writing style and all, but I'd have lost my money. We read one or two Labors a night until we finished the twelve and while this isn't my favorite story in this collection it surely deserves to be here.
2.) The Horse and the Olive - by James Baldwin - this was a quick one about how Athens came to be. Athena and Neptune both want King Cecrops to name his town after them. Neptune promises wealth while Athena promises wisdom. The townspeople aren't dimwitted and it's obviously who was picked. The story is fast - I think we read it in a sitting before bed - but it's a good one.
3.) The Story of Arachne - by James Baldwin - This has been a favorite so far for both of us. Julia had never heard, before the night we read this, any form of the word arachnid to my knowledge. So she had no idea where it was going which made it all the better. Arachne was a young girl living in Greece who was known to spin and weave like no one else. She has a problem giving credit where credit is due though so Athena, queen of the air, comes to her with a proposition. Athena proposes a spinning/weaving competition - one can guess who wins. Yet, after her victory, Athena feels sorry for the poor girl whose entire life has been spinning and weaving. The deal they made can not be broke so Athena offers the girl a different form, which she happily takes to continue doing what she loves. I've learned I like Baldwin's writing. :-)
4.) Bellerophon and Pegasus - by James Baldwin - I didn't like this as much as the other Baldwin stories but it's definitely a good addition to the book. I'm not sure how to give a description so I won't. Basically, it's how Bellerophon came to be with Pegasus and how Pegasus helps him through his journey and helps him to defeat the Chimaera.
5.) The Elephant's Child - taken from Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling - This is the story of how an elephants trunk came to be. :) This was another I wondered about how good it would be but the title alone interested Julia. A young elephant, very 'curtious' (curious) wants answers to all his questions. When he wants to know what Crocodiles eat for dinner, and he's not answered, he sets off to find his answer. He does in fact find it, along with a new nose and, one would think, some serious life experiences. He finds a friend, the Bi-Colored-Python-Rock-Snake along the way who helps him more than once. It's not my favorite but again, a nice addition.
6.) The Piper at the Gates of Dawn - taken from The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame - We didn't like this very much. It was okay but it dragged out for us both. So much so that we've actually decided to take a break with this for now.
***Tricks, Traps, and Mischief***
1.) Tom Sawyer in Church - from The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain - we didn't record out thoughts when we read this months ago. I wish we had but I remember a distinct bored feeling. I also distinctly remember trying to skip a bit here or there to technically "finish" the story with Julia before she bucked and gave up on the whole book.
2.) Pinocchio is Swallowed by the Dogfish - from Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi - we both liked this story well enough. It's actually one of the better stories in the book I think.
3.) Rikki-tikki-tavi - from The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling - this is another that is one of the best in the book. Julia's never been a fan of the cartoon movie so when I told her the title of this she groaned. Once we started reading I thought the wording would get to her but the story was awesome enough that it didn't matter at all. I know she'd have liked this to be even longer and I could have kept reading it myself.
4.) The Awful Fate of Mr. Wolf - by Joel Chandler Harris - Julia didn't like this one so much. It's a shorter one, we read it last night before bed and I think it fell flat after Rikki-tikki-tavi.
5.) The Spider and the Toad - from Wood Magic by Richard Jeffries - Julia and I both agreed that the beginning to this story was boring. I briefly thought about skipping it but since it's one of the shorter ones I figured we could get through it. We actually ended up liking it so I'm glad we kept on.
6.) The Circus - from The Wouldbegoods by E. Nesbit -
**I'll add in title and author links later.**...more
It took us almost a month to finish this, mainly because we were reading one to two chapters before bed and that wasn't each night. The Rescue is forIt took us almost a month to finish this, mainly because we were reading one to two chapters before bed and that wasn't each night. The Rescue is for kids older than my daughter. She's about 6, she turns 7 in September, and she loved the entire book but I wouldn't actually recommend it for a child that age. I would however, recommend it for preteens, teens and even adults as I lived it just as much as Julia did. Edwards did a great job of getting the main character, a young adopted girl, down perfectly. The issue of adoption, along with the issue Emily has with being mixed and not knowing her birth family's history make for exciting side stories. Emily's adoptive parents are both white and the family lives in an area not populated by many non-whites so issues arise once or twice about that also. A great thing is the author doesn't harp on this or that do young people won't feel they're being spoken down to or that they have to learn anything. The worst I can say about the book is that the cover doesn't match. The cover leads readers to believe that what's portrayed is Emily finding this dog after he's washed ashore. Yet not only does the dog appear totally find but he's not even wet or sandy. This happens in the very early morning in battering rain. Not so on the cover. Emily has been out in the pouring rain, crawling through mud, after having just woken up from a nightmare but on the cover she's perfect. Not a huge issue but an issue nonetheless. If we're going to take the time to have covers shouldn't they show what's really happened? I can't think of any reason why this was done this way. Anyhow, it's a great story with a surprise twist at the end that we weren't expecting. (Well, I was. I had skipped ahead a bit.) Apparently there's another Dog Whisperer book so I'm going to have to get that for us to read soon. I don't remember if these are old or new but I'm hoping it's the latter so more may possibly be published. ...more
I hate to give this one star and say this but I couldn't get into this at all. I love, love, love war dog stories. I've read a few that we're brillianI hate to give this one star and say this but I couldn't get into this at all. I love, love, love war dog stories. I've read a few that we're brilliant. I'm not a rereader but there are at least two or three I'll almost definitely read again because of the strong emotions they evoked inside me. I wanted the same thing here. I think part of the problem is that, in my opinion, Burnam is *too* detailed. I didn't get very far into this but unless the story changes this is more about Burnam's own life than that of his war dog(s). I want the war dog(s) story. I'm sure there are plenty of people who have liked/loved this and will like/love this but it wasn't for me. :( If anyone has read a war dog story they really loved I welcome the recommendation(s) because this is fascinating subject for me. ...more
As those who know me already know, I'm not the most observant person in the world. I didn't look at the back of this book or at the description untilAs those who know me already know, I'm not the most observant person in the world. I didn't look at the back of this book or at the description until after reading it. I had no idea the book was "about" Jane Goodall. I actually found this, and a lot of others I'm reviewing this afternoon, on the GR Annual Poll. I wanted Julia to be able to vote on her own so we ordered all of the books listed. This, in my opinion, wins hands down. The picture at the end of the story, of Goodall reaching out to the baby chimp is breathtaking. Julia even sucked in her breath and drew the book to her and just stared. She was as amazed as I was. Goodall is.... I don't even know what word I can use for such an amazing person. All-around amazing is what she is. From how she achieved her childhood dreams to what she's done for animals around to the world to what she's done for people around the world. The story is about 4 stars for me, the artwork 3.5, the entire package? 5 stars all the way. The information and drawings from The Alligator Society - I don't have words for it. The baby picture of Jane with the stuffed chimp, amazing. The short letter from Jane herself, wow. Share this with every child you know. Give it as a present, give it for no reason at all. Besides the possibility of giving that child a love of reading you may do so much more with just this one little book. Patrick McDonnell is to be commended. I sincerely hope this wins not only the GR poll but many awards. In this day and age, when our kids have idols like that meat wearing freak and Vick, Goodall stands above all the rest and our children need - they need to see this....more
I can't review this the way I want. Finding Jack is one of the best books I've ever read. I haven't been able to stop thinking about the "war dogs" siI can't review this the way I want. Finding Jack is one of the best books I've ever read. I haven't been able to stop thinking about the "war dogs" since I read the non-fiction book Always Faithful: A Memoir of the Marine Dogs of WWII by William W. Putney. (That was another one of the best books I've ever read.) Finding Jack reads like non-fiction. I can't count the number of times my heart started thumping, me wondering what was going to happen next. I haven't cried while reading many books. I haven't even cried while watching many movies (excepting Hatchi of course.) I choked up numerous times during the course of this book. One time I was fully sobbing. Sounds like something you don't want to read right? Exactly the opposite. I was dumbfounded by how I didn't want to put it down. I had to know what happened next. I hoped and hoped it would go the way I wanted it to go because I wasn't sure I could take something else. I want to tell friends and strangers alike they have to read this. This relationship, the one between this man and his dog, are what each and every relationship between man and dog should be. I kept finding myself comparing myself. Would I do that for my dog? Could I do that for my dog? The last isn't very fair considering I'm hardly military-ready and these were the types of things I was imagining. But you get my drift. The only thing I wish was different about this book was the length. I wish it was about 4 times as long. I'd have loved it if it was. Crocker is a very, very talented man. I sincerely hope he's going to continue to write and I'd read his next book in a heartbeat. I'd buy it, full price, in a heartbeat (those that know me know what that means.) Don't miss this - you'll never know what you're missing. Matter of fact, read both Finding Jack AND Always Faithful. They're both fantastic, fantastic works of art.