Barkus by Patricia MacLachlan, illustrated by Marc Boutavant

Published by Chronicle Books

Summary:  When Nicky’s Uncle Everton leaves for some around-the-world travel, he drops of his dog Barkus for the family to look after.  It’s love at first sight for Nicky, and  each short chapter tells a humorous tale about the girl and her dog: Barkus sneaks into school, throws himself a birthday party, and adopts a kitten.  In the final chapter, the family goes camping, and Nicky tells them a bedtime story about their family as they snuggle together in their tent.  This book is billed as book #1, so readers can look forward to more Barkus tales ahead.  56 pages; grades K-3.

Pros:  A perfect choice for beginning or reluctant readers, written by Newbery Medalist Patricia MacLachlan, and illustrated with bright cartoon-style pictures.

Cons:  Librarians may have a tough time deciding if this belongs with the easy readers or chapter books.

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