The Hallo-Wiener

img_8015I love the creepy of Halloween, but the season would not be complete without a little bit of the goofy of Halloween. Who better to bring that element than Dav Pilkey?

Poor Oscar doesn’t quite fit in with the other dogs, being that he is a dog and a half long, but only half a dog tall. The other dogs tease him, and while his mother means well, the Halloween costume she made for him is certainly not helpful. But when the other dogs are attacked by a “monster,” Oscar isn’t going to just run away!

This is a fun book for the season, and can be a good teaching tool for kids too– the other dogs tease Oscar, but they learn that sometimes being different as its advantages when Oscar comes through to save the day. Good for a read aloud in October, and also a relatively easy read that incorporates some bigger vocabulary (such as the ornery cats!). Like in some of the other Dav Pilkey books, I like the little “extras” added into the illustrations– we can see that Oscar’s last name is Myers on his mailbox, and the title page has the book title lettered in hot dogs!

Boris’s thoughts: “Seriously? Cats as the bad guys? Boo. Hiss. 1 paw.”

Dragon’s Fat Cat

img_6116Dav Pilkey has become quite popular with several of his characters (Captain Underpants, Dog Man, etc.), but I don’t think there will ever be one that I love quite as much as Dragon.

This is one of five books chronicling the (mis)adventures of Dragon. Whether he is learning how to take care of a new pet, celebrating a holiday, or just trying to get by in his daily life, Dragon has a way of getting things a bit mixed up. He is a little too easily spooked for Halloween, buys too much food at the grocery store to fit into his car, and is really not sure what can be done about the smelly yellow puddle problem that comes along with having a pet. However, he always knows where to turn to get a little help with his problems, and things end up working out for him in the end. He is a fun, silly character that has a few laughs for both kids and the adults that are reading with them.

Of course, I may be biased because we are both obviously cat people.

These are great for early readers–they have the feel of a chapter book, but the fun of a picture book. Each book is also broken up into shorter stories, but text is lower level and there are tons of great illustrations. I love the little “extras” that get added in to the story through the pictures.

As is my habit, I realize that I have again reviewed a whole series rather than an individual book. However, I’m going to stand by this as fair. As children’s books, these all go together fairly seamlessly. I certainly would have a hard time recommending one over the others. While I could probably narrow down a favorite story in each book, differentiating from there would be difficult. The four books that I have read each have a specific focus (Dragon’s Fat Cat, Dragon Gets By, Dragon’s Halloween, and Dragon’s Christmas), and each of the four books that I have read fit so well with their unique subject.

Boris’s Thoughts: “Are you trying to imply something? I’m not fat, I’m big boned! I’ll give a little credit though, since I guess that one cat does look a bit like me. 2 paws.”