Review Detail

Adorable Beginning Reader
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
5.0
In the first book in this charming new early chapter book series, we meet Bo, who lives on a farm with his humans, Imani and Wyatt, and their parents, Jennica and Darnell Davis. Bo is still a puppy, and still figuring out how he needs to behave on the farm. He gets some help in this from Nanny Sheep, a very kind and patient older ewe, but is often abetted in his puppyish ways by friends like Zonks, a pig with whom he rolls in the mud. While Bo knows that mud is absolutely delightful as a frolicking medium, he also knows that his humans like him to be clean, so he is patient when he has to be bathed. After his latest bath, however, he realizes that his identification tag, a gift when he was adopted, is missing! Using techniques he has learned to alert humans that he must go outside, Bo ventures off into the farmyard to investigate. He follows clues from Zonks to the chickens, who think the sheep might have it. After pouncing on the sheep because they look soft like clouds, Bo finds that they don't have the tag, either, but think that perhaps Blue the blue jay might have it. He doesn't, but after meeting up with his friend Scrapper and searching for monsters Scrapper is sure are in the woods, he returns home to continue his search. There, he meets the evil barn cats King and Diva, who send him to the attic. Luckily, friendly spiders look out for our small investigator and lead him to his tag. Will Bo be able to alert his humans to its whereabouts?
Good Points
Young readers who have finished Butler's Kayla and King mysteries will love Bo's adventures. He's an adorable dog who means well, and is surrounded by a fantastic supporting cast of animals and humans. The Davis family is Black, and their small farm has a traditional complement of animals. While the cats might be a bit stereotypical, Nanny Sheep is quite level headed. Scrapper, who was born with three legs, is obsessed with monsters and wants Bo to help him locate monsters. Imani and Wyatt are caring and gentle with Bo, who is generally well behaved, if a bit rambunctious.

I can't say enough about how adorable the black and white pencil illustrations are! Bo's facial expressions are animated and priceless, and his eyes convey so much emotion!The barnyard comes to life with all of the classic Old MacDonald animals. Combined with the smaller trim size (5.5" x 7.5") and the bright covers, I can see these books becoming quite the favorite of an animal obsessed youngster.

This is a great US version of farm life, similar to the UK Jasmine Green series, but more from the dog's perspective. Give to readers who enjoy a light mystery like Robert Quackenbush's Henry the Duck or Sherlock Chick.
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