Reviews for Dog Diaries : Secret Writings of the Woof Society


Booklist Reviews 2007 August #1
From the trio who gave readers The SOS File (2004), this collection of short stories combines the bedrocks of mass appeal: dogs, humor, and short chapters brimming with illustrations. The stories include a mix of contemporary and historical, ranging from the Egyptian pharaohs to the Grand Ole Opry. Most pack a strong dose of laughs, such as "Mimi's Guide to Life," which includes tips on good places to hide after "bathroom indiscretion." Others are poignant, like the one about the dog that serves as a makeshift guide dog after a Civil War battle leaves his owner limping and blind. As a whole, the collection is slightly uneven. Weaker elements, such as an overlong introduction to the book's premise, are balanced by stronger ones, like the thrilling account of a dog that unwittingly captures a bank robber. Expressive, energetic pencil illustrations adorn nearly every page, breaking up the text for struggling or reluctant readers. Copyright 2007 Booklist Reviews.

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2007 Fall
Dogs from all over gather for the first annual meeting of the WOOF (Words of Our Friends) Society. Each of the book's thirteen short chapters offers a story of doggy derring-do, some purportedly from history ("Abu: The Dog Who Ruled Egypt," 2000 BCE) and others personal anecdotes from WOOF members. Black-and-white sketches illustrate the sometimes humorous, sometimes touching tales. Copyright 2007 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

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Kirkus Reviews 2007 May #1
Newbery Medalist Byars and her two daughters join forces for their third collaborative effort using a short-story format. An introductory chapter sets the stage for the first annual meeting of the WOOF Society, a group of literate dogs compiling "Words of Our Friends." Eleven short narratives follow, told in first person by a variety of dogs from different eras and locations, from ancient times to the modern world. The historical settings include ancient Egypt, Pompeii during the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius, the Gold Rush-era and the Civil War. Some of the stories are touching while others are humorous, including one from a dog who foils a bank robber and another about a dog who learns to "sing" at the Grand Ole Opry with Johnny Cash. The writing styles of the three authors and the length of stories vary widely, although this is in line with the supposed diversity of canine authors. Engaging illustrations in soft gray pencil endow each dog with additional personality, from Abu the hound in Egypt to Mimi the poodle in Paris. (Fiction. 9-11) Copyright Kirkus 2007 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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School Library Journal Reviews 2007 June
Gr 3-4-The canine members of the WOOF (Words of Our Friends) Society gather together to hear stories that have been collected from dogs all over the world throughout history. The goal: to prove that dogs are accomplished storytellers who have larger vocabularies than merely "sit" and "fetch." The 11 tales that follow cover many aspects of the animals' lives and are by turns touching, funny, and sad. In "Abu: The Dog Who Ruled Egypt," Abu is catered to by everyone in the Egyptian court, except for Miu, the Royal Cat. However, at night, when it is cold in the kennel, he welcomes the warm presence of the feline curled against his back. In other stories, a garbage disposal is pooch's invisible enemy; Tidbit appears at the Grand Ole Opry with Johnny Cash; a dog learns the importance of a moniker; and a mother dog nurses abandoned kittens. At the end of the evening, the members of WOOF disband, satisfied that they are literate, and look forward to next year when they will be joined by the cats of MEOW. The stories average four to five pages, a length that allows readers to cover one or two in a sitting. Black-and-white pencil-and-ink drawings appear on almost every page, revealing the personalities of each animal and illustrating the setting of their stories. Readers will enjoy seeing the world from a canine's perspective.-Terrie Dorio, Santa Monica Public Library, CA. Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

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