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Kindergarten-Grade 2-From a neighborly distance, Zeke seems to be a "dream dog." So, when Mrs. Teaberry, his owner, hurts her foot, her friend Mr. Putter does not hesitate to volunteer to walk him. At the end of a leash, however, the little bulldog is a "nightmare." He tugs, tangles, and chases "big dogs." Mr. Putter, always accompanied by his cat, resorts to bribes of just the sort (ice cream, swimming pools, carnivals, and zoos) that tempt children to good behavior. Mr. Putter at last returns Zeke, and he and Tabby celebrate. This beginning-reader chapter book has a brief text (with a few words readers might have to stretch for), plenty of repetitive phrases, and lots of visual clues. Howard's illustrations are breezy, watercolor-and-pencil cartoons that extend the humor and give comic life to the mischievous canine, the earnest cat, and the hapless humans. Another winner from Rylant.
Meg Stackpole, Rye Free Reading Room, NY
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.