The Underdogs (The Underdogs, #1)

The Underdogs (The Underdogs, #1)
Author(s)
Co-Authors / Illustrators
Publisher
Age Range
6+
Release Date
October 05, 2021
ISBN
978-1338732726
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From the writer of the bestselling Dragon Masters series and the illustrator of the bestselling Diary of a Pug series comes a high-energy, illustrated chapter book series about four dogs who learn that being yourself is much more fun than being Best in Show.
Welcome to the town of Barksdale, where the canine residents strive for perfection. Every shopkeeper claims to be the "best groomer" or sell the "best biscuits." And at Barksdale Academy, the pressure is on every year for one pup to be named Best in Show.

Nova, Duke, Harley, and Peanut have never won Best in Show... which is okay with them! But they have to work together to pass their Agility Exam, because either the whole pack passes or the whole pack fails.

Nova has convinced her pals to train, but on her practice course, Duke is afraid to climb the high ramp, Harley keeps chasing squirrels, and Peanut can't make it through the hoops. Nova's not doing much bettershe's so excited she keeps knocking the whole course over!

Will the pups make the grade, or are they doomed to be Underdogs forever?

With black-and-white illustrations on every page and hilarious antics throughout, this series is perfect for readers who are just starting to read chapter books on their own, or for anyone who loves a good underdog story!

Editor review

1 review
cute and fun early chapter book read
Overall rating
 
4.5
Plot/Characters/Writing Style
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
5.0
THE UNDERDOGS is a cute early chapter book read about friendship, being true to yourself, and embracing who you are. Nova and her friends are determined to pass this year's K-1 exams, which they have consistently failed in the past, a test of agility and where someone is crowned with the honor of Best in Show. Nova wants her friends to practice hard and come through with a win, even if it seems like a longshot. As she gets caught up in the trying and failing, she learns lessons about doing your best and celebrating yourself for who you are.

What I loved: This was a simple and adorable early chapter book read. The plot has some great lessons about friendship, supporting others, trying your best, and celebrating yourself for your personal achievements. These pups are super-cute and each has their own fun personality, coming to life in this sweet story. This would work well for children who are just beginning to read chapter books, with large font, large illustrations on each page, and a great length. This would also be a fun read to share at bedtime. Between the adorable illustrations and relatable pups, this is a read everyone can enjoy.

What left me wanting more: As a super small point, there were a couple of things for humor that might need additional context/iteration for younger readers, such as a dog eating flies and calling them raisins, with the disclaimer for kids that this is not at all the case and do not try it please.

Final verdict: THE UNDERDOGS is a charming and sweet early chapter book read about friendship and embracing yourself as you are.
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