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Monday, August 13, 2018

Barkus Dog Dreams: Book 2, written by Patricia MacLachlan and illustrated by Marc Boutavant. Chronicle Books, Raincoast. 2018. $21.50 ages 6 and up

"Robin taught her father how
to give Barkus his pills. She
put the pill in some cheese and
opened Barkus's mouth. She
held his mouth shut. After a
minute Barkus swallowed.
"Bring him back next week,"
she said. Then Robin took
Baby out of her carrier and
gave her a shot. Baby didn't
care. She jumped out of
Robin's arms and ran ... "

If Patricia MacLachlan's name is on the front cover of a book, I will read it. I have enjoyed many hours completely absorbed by her words, her characters, her stories, starting in 1986 when Sarah, Plain and Tall  (Harper, 1985) won the Newbery Medal. It was a gift to us from a dear friend who loved reading as much as we did, and we read it together as soon as it was given. What a grand memory!

I am happy to welcome Barkus back to the blog this year. I wrote a post about his first book here last year : here last year and want to share this new one with fans of the first, hoping they will be enjoy seeing Barkus, his family, new friends, and the events described in its five chapters. Each is a standalone story showing the family dynamic, the love for the pets that share their home, and will provide a successful reading experience for those readers wanting to make the jump to longer reads.

To that end, each turn of the page offers accessible text accompanied by colorful, detailed illustrations that help to provide context. Nicky is the narrator again as she relates stories about the dog she loves. Familiar settings and small adventures await. A vet visit, runaway animals, a party, making a new canine friend,  and helping out during a noisy storm show a dog who is comfortable and happy to be with his family. He is cared for, much loved, and valued by all. His humorous stories will delight readers and leave them wanting more.

I am hopeful it won't be long before we meet up with Barkus in a third book.

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