A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Dory Dory Black Sheep (which defines "black sheep" as one who does things a little bit differently) is the third zany adventure in the Dory Fantasmagory series. Once again, imaginative 6-year-old narrator Dory grapples with real-life issues (from teasing sibs to reading difficulties), but her spunky spirit and her friends (real and imaginary) are more than a match for the challenges. Along with a lot of understated life lessons, there's a lot of humor, much of it involving butts and bathrooms. Also, Dory's favorite book is The Adventures of Super Diaper Baby.
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What's the story?
As DORY DORY BLACK SHEEP opens, things have been going pretty great in 6-year-old Dory's intertwined real and imaginary worlds since the events of Book 2. But uh-oh: Dory's having trouble learning to read, and, worse yet, her BFF Rosabelle is already zipping through chapter books! Then a lamb (who may have escaped one of the early reader books) turns up at her house. Things get really strange when comic villainess Mrs. Gobble Gracker drinks a potion meant for Dory -- and turns into a 6-year-old. Will Dory ever learn to read? Will Goblin the lamb ever get home?
Is it any good?
Reading challenges, lost sheep, sibling squabbles, magic potions, and a much-too-small Batman costume are all part of the fun in author Abby Hanlon's latest helping of early-grade silliness. As Dory says, "My two worlds swirl together like a chocolate and vanilla ice cream cone. Real and unreal get all mixed up in one crazy flavor." Kids who've been following the series from the beginning will get a huge kick out of Dory Dory Black Sheep's unlikely plot developments (arch-villainess Mrs. Gobble Gracker as a little kid?) and the funny drawings.
Dory's worries and frustrations will resonate with many young readers (and almost-readers), as will her perseverance, kind heart, and wacky approach to problem-solving.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about imaginary friends. Do you have any? What are they like?
Do you feel like characters in books and movies are your friends? Which ones would you really like to be friends with in real life if you could?
Have you ever had a situation with a good friend where one of you was much better at something than the other one? How did it affect your friendship?
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