Look at all the falling snow. (Move your mouse right and left and watch the snow switch direction.) Virtual snow I can love. Real snow, not so much. What happened? As a kid I loved snow, played outside in the snow, was thrilled to see snow falling. Now, I groan. You might find yourself groaning a little while reading this next book, but that will be joyful groans, as you try not to laugh at Stick Dog and his pals.
Stick Dog Dream of Ice Cream
Series: Stick Dog (#4)
Written by Tom Watson
Illustrated by Ethan Long
(from original sketches by Tom Watson)
HarperCollins May 19, 2015
244 pages Ages 8—12
“The temperature is rising—and Stick Dog and his pals are feeling the heat. They need cold, cold ice cream on this hot, hot day.
“It will take all of Stick Dog’s smarts to guide his friends to a scrumptious ice cream feast. They’ll battle a water-attacking machine, discover rainbow puddles, and chase the strangest, loudest truck they’ve ever seen. But there’s a looming threat to their mission—Stick Dog gets spotted by a human. And the police are on his tail.
“If he’s captured, Stick Dog may never see his friends again. If he escapes, it’s ice cream for everyone.” [back cover]
Stick Dog and pals (Stripes, Karen, Poo-Poo, and Mutt) are suffering on very hot summer day. Cooling down is a fleeting dream. They’ve tired of lukewarm creek water and, to make matters worse, must constantly find food for their empty stomachs. What is a pack of stray dogs to do? Well, find food, drink, and shade, in any order possible.
The dogs find water “raining up from the ground.” Is it an upside down cloud laying on the ground? A machine to attack humans with water? Before Stick Dog and his pals can figure this out, an annoying sound wafts through the air. Music, attached to a large, slow moving truck that leaves behind multi-colored puddles each time it stops. Once Stick Dog figures out this is ice cream—and understands the heat-quenching ability of ice cream—he decides to take charge and grab some of the cold, creamy treat. Can Stick Dog find his way into the truck, grab some ice cream, and get away? Good luck with that, Stick Dog.
Stick Dog Dreams of Ice Cream is the first Stick Dog story I’ve read. By the end of chapter one I had the who’s who figured out. If you’ve read a previous Stick Dog you can pick up right where your last venture left off. The book stands alone, and can be read in any order, but I recommend you stick start with the first,Stick Dog, just to get up to speed. Once you’ve read any of Stick Dog’s foody adventures, you’ll want to read the edition that started it all anyway.
Stick Dog is aptly named. He is literally a stick dog, as are his pals. Tom Watson sketches his books—Ethan Long refines the sketches—and Watson will tell you the images are not his best. I poo-poo his assessment of his doodle-like illustrations. (You can see a few originals here. Scroll down.) Kids will love the images. They are part of Stick Dog’s charm. The other is the narration, which reads as if a kid is telling the story. Add a purple composition book with lined pages, all held together with rubber bands, and you have an inviting middle grade book.
“When we all go off to school during the day, maybe our dogs all . . . ”
Stick Dog Dreams of Ice Cream is full of kid-friendly humor that is both silly and spot on. Watson knows dogs. Though most dogs do not speak English or read, Watson has their comic traits and mannerism down like a, well, a dog. Poo-Poo’s rapt attention to squirrels is one wonderful example. Poo-Poo stalks, fixates, and hates giving up. Each dog in Stick Dog’s pack have charming traits kids will appreciate.
Stick Dog Dreams of Ice Cream is a fun and fast read. The writing is basic, yet perfectly composed. This “innocent” writing makes the Stick Dog series a wonderful set for reluctant readers. The story will cause any young reader to laugh and smile as the pages flip past. Fans of the middle grade series Big Nat and Diary of a Wimpy Kid will enjoy Stick Dog Dreams of Ice Cream. Given the season, let me add, Stick Dog will make a great present.
Next up: Stick Dog Tries to Take the Donuts, January 5, 2016.
STICK DOG DREAMS OF ICE CREAM. Text and illustrations copyright © 2015 by Tom Watson. Reproduce by permission of the publisher, Harper, New York, NY.
Download More Tom Watson Stories (free) HERE.
Meet the author/illustrator, Tom Watson, at his website: http://stickdogbooks.com/
Stick Dog’s Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/stickdog.says
Find more books at the HarperCollins Children’s Books website: www.harpercollinschildrens.com
. . Harper is an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.
Also by Tom Watson
Stick Dog Wants a Hot Dog
Stick Dog Chases a Pizza
Stick Dog Tries to Take the Donuts (release date: January 5, 2016)
Copyright © 2015 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews. All Rights Reserved
Full Disclosure: Stick Dog Dreams of Ice Cream by Tom Watson, and received from Harper (an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers), is in exchange NOT for a positive review, but for an HONEST review. The opinions expressed are my own and no one else’s. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
STICK DOG DREAMS OF ICE CREAM. Text and illustrations copyright © 2015 by Tom Watson. Used by permission of Harper.