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Friday, February 11, 2011

Stanley's Little Sister, written by Linda Bailey and illustrated by Bill Slavin. Kids Can Press, 2010. $17.95 ages 5 and up

"And then there was
the problem of the couch.
When his people sat on the
couch, the cat sat on their
laps. Stanley wondered why
he never got to sit on his
people's laps. He decided
to give it a try."

Is life ever easy with a new sibling? I don't remember...but many will have stories. Stanley is anxious to share his in this new fun-filled family saga. When his people bring home a new cat without asking for Stanley's permission, he is peeved. Stanley works hard at being a good dog all the time (with the occasional misstep) and he knows how he is supposed to behave in the presence of this new inhabitant.

His first friendly foray is met with a precisely placed clawed paw to the poor guy's nose! No one in the family even notices. So, Stanley takes dealing with the cat as his own personal problem and trees (well, curtains) her. Who's in trouble? Stanley!

He voices his concerns to his friends and they have some fail-safe suggestions. No matter what he tries, the cat is resistant and Stanley is determined to refrain from chasing. But, his natural instincts kick in and he gets himself in trouble time and again. His pals try again with helpful advice. Frustrated with his inability to resolve the issues, Stanley gives up. He settles in for a long rest...who knew that was all he had to do?

Young readers love familiar characters and they will be pleased to meet up with Stanley and his friends once more. They are sure to remember him from his previous adventures. His soft, cushy body, his naivete about the workings of the world and the supportive menagerie of mutts will encourage discussion and memories. The warmth of Bill Slavin's detailed and illuminated artwork, with its soft edges, expressive faces and action add just the right touch!

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