Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
It's a nightmare scenario: Buddy the dog and Earl the hedgehog show up at school, but the other students completely ignore them. "What do you think their problem is, Buddy?" asks Earl. "I think their problem is that they are only toys," replies Buddy. (The "school" is in the bedroom of their young human caretaker, Meredith.) Earl's attitude improves after he takes over as teacher; Meredith's disappearance halfway into the story warmly hints at the way kids' attention can be fleeting, even during a game they created. The bond between Buddy and Earl is as strong as ever in their fourth book, as is the playful banter and cheerful artwork that capture their relationship so well. Ages 4-7. (Aug.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by School Library Journal Review
PreS-Gr 2-When Meredith, Buddy's and Earl's child friend, decides it's time for the dog and hedgehog to go to school, they consider all the career possibilities that may open up for them. Earl wants to become a dentist, and Buddy imagines a whole host of future jobs, including becoming a fire hydrant, until he remembers what he does to them. Their passions dim when they discover that their fellow schoolmates, stuffed animals, ignore them completely and refuse to participate, and that school's a bit boring. When Meredith, their teacher, has to leave, Earl leads his own lesson in which Buddy gets to practice what he's really good at, sniffing and tail-chasing. The digitized illustrations, with their clear black lines and solid blocks of color, will help readers of all ages follow along, and Fergus's wry jocular tone invites young readers in on the jokes that go right over the animal's heads. This latest adventure of the two mismatched friends may please their fans, but it's difficult to see what the two friends really learn about friendship, teaching, or learning, and so the conclusion falls flat. Nevertheless, it's likely that the lack of a consistent theme or plot won't make a difference for true lovers of the series. VERDICT The jokes and familiar characters may keep young readers giggling, but parents and teachers won't find much here for discussion.-Anna Stover, Poughkeepsie Day School, NY © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Horn Book Review
In their latest adventure, friends Buddy (a large dog) and Earl (a pet hedgehog) are excited to attend owner Meredith's pretend school. When she's called away and Earl takes over, he ensures that Buddy excels by teaching classes in Tail Chasing, Sniffing Things, and Scratching Itches. Simple, minimalist gouache illustrations in a limited palette accompany the droll text. (c) Copyright 2018. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Kirkus Book Review
The droll dog-and-hedgehog duo is back, this time going to school. As per usual, Buddy the dog is very matter-of-fact, nave, and literal, while his prickly friend, Earl, sometimes lets his imagination take over reality. When Meredith (their white human owner) announces the two will be attending school, Earl is excited, since "Getting an education is the first step to achieving my dream of becoming a dentist." Buddy doesn't think hedgehogs can be dentists but is thrilled to learn that he too can be anything he wants with the right education. The two prepare themselves with a "nutritious breakfast" of Dad's slipper and then gather some supplies. In the classroom, Earl is miffed at the other students, who not only refuse to return his greeting, but won't even look at him. "They are only toys," Buddy tells him. Then Meredith's called away, and she leaves Earl in charge: "I've always wanted to be a teacher." Buddy excels at Earl's lessons in sniffing, tail-chasing, and itch-scratching and is the enthusiastic recipient of an earnestly presented special student award. Sookocheff extends the tongue-in-cheek humor of the text in the gouache-and-Photoshop illustrations, Earl's simple dot eyes and line mouth expressing his every emotion and Buddy the epitome of a dog, simple but loving. Readers will enjoy their time with these two: another satisfying friendship adventure. (Picture book. 4-8) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.