Review Detail

Ready for Spaghetti?
Overall rating 
 
4.5
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
4.0
These books appeal to everyone from strong emergent readers and stressed middle schoolers to librarians who have a secret desire to hide all of the Wimpy Kid books from 8th graders. These are cleverly written have great character development. While the plots are predictable (dogs need food; dogs go in search of food; dogs eventually get food), there are enough twists, jokes, and humor that each book is fresh.

This book contains my very favorite scene-- Stick Dog trying to encourage his friends to get up a steep hill. He uses excellent management skills to cajole them to keep walking and to not give up. There needs to be a workshop on the Stick Dog Management Style. He is a master at working with people who are less intelligent than he is without making them feel bad.

There is a series of popular notebook novels that involve a young boy who is mean to everyone, including his best friend. I would much rather hand a reader this series, where kindness and invention always wins the day.
Good Points
The dogs are hungry again, and Stick Dog reluctantly admits that he ate something he didn't share-- some rope. The dogs decide that it's been a long time since they played tug of war, so send Karen (who is a dachshund and "perfectly proportioned" for the task) underneath a dumpster by the hardware store to look for another piece. There, she finds a Styrofoam takeout container with flimsy ropes in it. Poo-Poo, the food journalist of the group, compares them to the pizza they once had. Stick Dog notices that the top of the container says "Tip-Top Spaghetti" and, remembering the location, sets off on an expedition to get there. This involves much finagling of his troops to entice them up the hill, and impressive strategy to get into the kitchen and liberate the pasta. After some perilous moments, they are successful, and even find a plastic bag full of meatballs. Balls of MEAT! Aside from a freshly squashed squirrel, I can think of nothing my own dog would like better.
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