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Author: John Grogan

Illustrator: Richard Cowdrey

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Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers,

Material: hard cover

Summary: Marley is the pet dog. His best friend, Cassie (the little girl in the family), is starting in Kindergarten. Marley wants to go to school with Cassie, and although he gets locked up in the backyard, he makes his way to the school. There, he gets into HEAPS of trouble. From the copy room to the cafeteria to the gym, Marley leaves his mark. He eventually gets caught and sent home, but not before he’s forgiven by the school principal. This picture book captures a child-pet relationship and life at school in one story.

Type of Reading: bedtime story, family reading, playtime reading, read aloud book, learning to read

Recommended Age: read together: 3 to 8; read yourself: 7 to 9

Interest Level: 3 to 7

Reading Level: 2.7

Age of Child: Read with boys ages 3 and 5.

Young Reader Reaction: My kids liked the action in the story. We read this a lot.

Adult Reader Reaction: I loved this book. The illustrations are loads of fun, and packed with things to find. Some of the action is unrealistic, but, hey, it’s a book! It’s a story! It’s FICTION! And it’s fun. It is a great way to make kindergarten sound exciting to a child, particularly to one who is wary of the transition.

Pros: FUN illustrations filled with color; a spunky pup; and rosy-cheeked kids will grab kids and parents alike. This one is action-packed and offers lots of potential for laughter!

Cons: None, really. If you are a literalist, though, there are some unrealistic scenes.

Borrow or Buy: Borrow. This is a fun book to check out of the library, especially right before school starts!


Educational Themes: This is a fun way to introduce some of the things that happen in a school, when a child has never attended school.(Some of which was unrealistic — at least, it doesn’t happen like that in OUR kindergarten!).

Notes: The publisher donated a copy of this book knowing that we would consider it for review and provide an independent, unbiased profile. This book will be given to a nonprofit to help readers in need.

Literary Categories: Fiction - picture book, animal characters, school, humor

Date(s) Reviewed: September 2010

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