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Summary: Francine Flout may live in her her house, but Archie and Woody (especially Woody) own it. Together, the two poodles were Mrs. Flout's posse, and they could read her mind and anticipate her every move. That's how Woody sneaked the bone, and how Archie saved the dogs at the pound. This is an illustrated chapter book for grades 2 to 4.
Type of Reading: bedtime story, transitional reader, learning to read, independent reading, read aloud book, remedial reader
Recommended Age: read together: 6 to 10; read yourself: 8 to 12
Interest Level: 6 to 12
Reading Level: 4.2
Age of Child: Review pending.
Adult Reader Reaction: Pet lovers (particularly dog owners) will see themselves in this book. Each event is self-contained, making it more like a short story than a chapter book. The stories are clever and have great potential. They are wordy at times, and may need to be trimmed to fully engage second graders.
Pros: Kids will enjoy these stories about two dogs and their antics. Young listeners will be drawn to the cute images of the poodles.
Cons: Although illustrated, the pages are filled with text ... looking more like a novel that could easily overwhelm a second grader.
Borrow or Buy: Borrow. Although the stories have a universal kid-appealing theme, the text-heavy renditions will limit the appeal for audiences and repeat reading.
Educational Themes: At the end of the book, the author has two pages with questions that you can use to guide discussion or create a reading journal. It would take a little creativity, but you could draw out themes about feelings (sharing and jealousy), as well as talk about animal rescue.