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The parents' guide to what's in this book.
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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Stick Dog Wants a Hot Dog is about a group of stray dogs plotting to steal frankfurters from an unsuspecting vendor in the park. Unlike in the first book, Stick Dog -- wherein the dogs' intended targets freely gave the canines their food -- here the vendor ends up being tricked and the friends pull off the scheme. But Stick Dog shares the loot with hungry rivals. Baffled by the sight of a man exercising, some of the dogs assume he's doing a mating performance to get a girlfriend. When one of the dogs leaps out of an upper-story window, the narrator pauses the story to point out that kids should never try something similar. It's all silly fun, best for young kids and early and reluctant readers.
What's the story?
Stick Dog and his hungry friends Karen, Stripes, Mutt, and Poo-Poo spot a man selling frankfurters in the park and decide they need to snatch some to eat. But a raccoon also has his eye on the hot dogs. Stick Dog and his daffy pals need a good plan to distract the vendor and swipe the goods before the raccoon. That’s no easy feat for this gang of easily distracted dogs. Things get even more complicated when Karen accidentally gets locked in the home of a very strange stranger. Now the dogs need to free their pal before pursuing the frankfurters -- and the rival raccoon has brought company.
Is it any good?
STICK DOG WANTS A HOT DOG reunites the five endearing pups from Stick Dog. Tom Watson follows the same formula: Hungry dogs seeking food come up with harebrained schemes to attain their goal, and Stick Dog affectionately leads them to success. The humor is a little more forced this second time around, and awkward, passive phrasing saps some of the energy. All in all, however, it's an entertaining caper enlivened by Ethan Long's stick-figure-style drawings.
Talk to your kids about ...
- Families can talk about the dogs' plot to steal from a hot dog vendor. Because they're strays, they need to find food on their own. Given their circumstances, is it OK for them to steal?
- The narrator occasionally breaks into the story to speak directly to the reader. Do these asides enhance or interrupt the story?
- Stick Dog tries to be patient, but his friends become exasperated with him for shooting down their ideas. In what ways is he a good leader? Does being a leader interfere with his friendships?
- Author: Tom Watson
- Illustrator: Ethan Long
- Genre: Humor
- Topics: Cats, Dogs, and Mice, Friendship
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: HarperCollins Children's Books
- Publication date: October 8, 2013
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 8 - 12
- Number of pages: 224
- Available on: Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
- Last updated: June 20, 2019
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