Three

Stephen Michael King

Book - 2021

Three, a homeless three-legged dog, skips and hops about the city until he befriends a little girl who accepts him as he is.

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Subjects
Genres
Picture books
Published
New York : Holiday House / Neal Porter Books 2021.
Language
English
Main Author
Stephen Michael King (author)
Edition
First American edition
Item Description
"First published by Scholastic Australia in 2019."
Physical Description
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 29 cm
Audience
Ages 4 to 8.
Grades K-1.
ISBN
9780823449231
Contents unavailable.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

A small, city-dwelling stray with a sunny disposition is unruffled by his missing right foreleg: "Every day was a skip and a hop for Three." He occasionally considers seeking out a home or family, but "mostly he walked from here to there, or wherever his nose led." He sniffs his way around, categorizing other living creatures he encounters by the number of legs they have, such as the ant he spies on a city sidewalk: "Three was happy that little six legs had an underground home, far away from busy feet." When Three finds his way into the country, he encounters many new kinds of creatures and configurations of legs--including a friendly being who offers companionship and love. A focus on leg counting and unwavering positivity ("He was happy he didn't have four legs. If Three had four legs, he might be a chair") in the face of disability and housing uncertainty may be disconcerting for some readers. Loose-lined mixed-media drawings by King (Wandering Star), though, offer a wealth of city stores, sidewalk scenes, and map-like streets, through which Three's path appears as a dotted red line as he follows a shift in circumstances. Ages 4--8. (Apr.)

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by Horn Book Review

Three, a small three-legged dog, sees the world through a unique lens. Three roams the city, identifying its inhabitants in terms of the number of legs each possesses. There are the six legs (ants) and the eight legs (spiders); and those with too many legs to count (centipedes). But Three wants none of those multiples, nor does he wish for four legs, for in his experience these are often chairs that the two legs (guess who?) sit on all day long. Although content with his physical self, Three would like a loving home, perhaps with his new friend Fern, who talks with him and plays with him. She introduces Three to all sorts of creatures, including a one leg (Mom in yoga pose) and a twelve leg (the pretend throne Fern's brother creates by pushing three chairs together); best of all, together the three humans and Three make "a perfect four." The book's perspective calls for readers to use their inference skills (what is a "winged two leg that lays eggs"?) while following Three's thought processes. King's uncluttered and cheerful pencil and watercolor illustrations allow readers to confirm the identities of the animals under discussion. Expect lots of interaction -- counting, adding, and even tracing Three's routes on two map-like spreads -- when reading this aloud. One engaging story + three legs + six legs = a perfect 10. Betty Carter March/April 2021 p.59(c) Copyright 2021. 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

A three-legged dog goes on a journey of discovery. Three the dog lives homeless in a city. But Three doesn't consider his life wanting. The sun warms him; he feels clean when it rains on him; he is even thankful that he doesn't have four legs, because the things with four legs he's aware of (chairs) don't move and get sat on by those with two legs (humans). This is another trait of Three's: He pays great attention to the number of legs of all the creatures around him. He's happy "six legs" (ants) have an underground home to go to and that an "eight legs" (spider) is high out of reach of harm. One day, Three wanders far out of the city into the country, where he meets Fern, a little-girl two legs, who shares his independent spirit as well as her cookies and milk. Fern introduces Three to many other various-legged creatures in her garden--and to her single mother and little brother. The happy ending isn't in doubt; what gives the story its propulsion is Three's very doggy, glass-half-full attitude that a creature's number of legs is simply an interesting feature (an attitude that may come more easily to a quadruped than a biped). The loose-sketch--style illustrations filled with relaxed washes of color visually underscore Three's positive approach to life. Racially diverse humans are illustrated; Fern and her family present White. An uplifting story with amiable verve. (Picture book. 3-7) Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.