Dear Book Lovers, Welcome! I am delighted that you have found The Through the Looking Glass blog. For over twenty years I reviewed children's literature titles for my online journal, which came out six times a year. Every book review written for that publication can be found on the Through the Looking Glass website (the link is below). I am now moving in a different direction, though the columns that I write are still book-centric. Instead of writing reviews, I'm offering you columns on topics that have been inspired by wonderful books that I have read. I tell you about the books in question, and describe how they have have impacted me. This may sound peculiar to some of you, but the books that I tend to choose are ones that resonate with me on some level. Therefore, when I read the last page and close the covers, I am not quite the same person that I was when first I started reading the book. The shift in my perspective might be miniscule, but it is still there. The books I am looking are both about adult and children's titles. Some of the children's titles will appeal to adults, while others will not. Some of the adult titles will appeal to younger readers, particularly those who are eager to expand their horizons.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Fiction Wednesday: A review of Down Girl and Sit: Smarter than squirrels

I have a dog who is keenly anti-squirrel. He hates squirrels of all kinds, and lives for the day when he will finally catch one. I am sure that if he could read, he would love today's book because it is about a pair of dogs who are convinced that they have the upper paw when it comes to squirrels. Though I admire them for their confidence in themselves, I can't help thinking that perhaps these two dogs aren't as squirrel savvy as they think they are.

Lucy Nolan
Illustrated by Mike Reed
For ages 6 to 8
Marshall Cavendish, 2004, 978-0-7614-5184-6
Down Girl and Sit are a pair of dogs who are best friends and next door neighbors. Together, in their respective yards, they work hard to “keep the world safe.” After all, there are all kinds of things out there that are dangerous, things like birds and squirrels. Luckily, Down Girl and Sit know how to deal with such dangers. They have figured out that the best thing to go to save the world from thieving and munching birds and squirrels is to chase them up trees. See how clever they are?
   The other thing they know is that one should never ever go near the back fence because something very dangerous lives over there. In fact, it is something that is “too horrible to talk about.”
   Once day Down Girl and Sit find out that something truly terrible has moved into the neighborhood. It is big and ugly and it is called Here Kitty Kitty. Just like those dreadful birds and squirrels, Here Kitty Kitty is bad news. When they see Here Kitty Kitty sneaking around, Down Girl and Sit do what they always do, they chase the interloper into a tree. This is very satisfying of course, but then Here Kitty Kitty walks along the back fence, and he finds out why Down Girl and Sit refuse to go anywhere near that part of their yards.
    Told from Down Girl’s point of view, this wonderfully funny chapter book will give readers a very singular picture of what it might be like to be a dog. Children will laugh out loud when they find out that Down Girl sincerely thinks that she understands her person, and that she is the one who is in control of the situation.
   With four stories to enjoy and a wonderful main character, this is a perfect book for young readers who are eager to read books with real chapters in them. This is the first book in what promises to be much-loved new series.  

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