A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Educational ValueThe narrator explains some words and expressions -- such as "dilemma" and "whispering low and hard" -- in asides.
Positive MessagesStick Dog and his friends work together to achieve their goal. And in the end, there's no need to be sneaky or threatening: The dogs find they can get exactly what they want just by being their charming selves.
Positive Role ModelsThe family targeted by the canine crew proves to be more generous than the dogs could have imagined: They shower the gang with affection (and burgers). The dogs are loyal to one another. Stick Dog is a solid leader, guiding the group away from harebrained schemes or causing anyone serious harm. He's able to dismiss his friends' silly ideas while still making them feel good.
Violence & ScarinessKaren's friends plan a memorial for her when she briefly disappears, but all turns out well. One dog proposes they throw themselves off a cliff as part of a plan to get the burgers, but they don't do it.
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LanguageA poodle is nicknamed Poo-Poo, but the author says it has nothing to do with bathroom humor and everything to do with being a poodle.
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Parents Need to KnowParents need to know that Stick Dog is the first of a series about a group of canine friends that invites comparison to Big Nate and Diary of a Wimpy Kid: All feature line drawings on notebook-style paper, middle-grade humor, and comical adventures. In this story, the dogs scheme to steal hamburgers from a family at the park. Stick Dog, their leader, shoots down proposals to bite the humans' ankles or steal their car. The dogs' goal may not be admirable, but it makes sense: These dogs don't live with families and are fending for themselves. The silly humor is gentle and kind, making this a good choice for young children.
Is It Any Good?
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.