Dory Dory Black Sheep: Dory Fantasmagory, Book 3

Book review by
Mary Eisenhart, Common Sense Media
Dory Dory Black Sheep: Dory Fantasmagory, Book 3 Book Poster Image
Dory faces reading difficulties in imaginative third romp.

Parents say

age 4+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

The story includes a definition of "black sheep" as "a member of a family or group who does things a little differently." As you'd expect from an author who's a former elementary school teacher, school is presented as a fun and positive place. Kids who already enjoy reading will have fun reading the things (such as "Danger" signs) that Dory can't yet.

Positive Messages

Don't give up, even when achieving your goal requires an unusual approach. Good things happen when you're kind and try to help others. Be yourself, and also be a good friend. You don't always get what you want, but things often turn out pretty great anyway. Reading is fun.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Spunky 6-year-old Dory has a lot on her plate this time around, but her spirits are unquenched, and her kind instincts usually win out. Her real-life BFF Rosabelle remains a true friend, and while longtime friend George is often socially inept (in one scene, he "accidentally" kisses Dory, who think's it's gross) but a good companion readily swept into Dory's fanciful schemes. Despite highly relatable sibling squabbles, Dory's and Rosabelle's families are loving and supportive -- if sometimes a bit distracted.

Violence & Scariness

Imaginary villainess Mrs. Gobble Gracker returns to be comically scary -- for example, trying to get chickens to jump into the pot to be turned into soup (it doesn't work).

Language

Plenty of little-kid bathroom humor, and Dory's favorite book is The Adventures of Super Diaper Baby. Dory's siblings make fun of her for having a wedgie (from a much-too-small costume), and she doesn't know what that means, other than that it seems to have something to do with her butt.

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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byEmily R April 23, 2018

Perfect for the younger sibling

The main character is the youngest of 3 in her family and always on the outside - her silly and adventurous imaginary world is a wonderful escape from the rules... Continue reading

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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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