3 out of 4 stars
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Klaus, a miniature schnauzer, has gone to doggie heaven. Terry Gunn wrote this book (titled Adventures of Klaus, the Happy Schnauzer, based on the PDF copy) to immortalize his beloved pet. It is the story of a typical day for Klaus from waking up with Mr. Sun to ending the day in his comfortable bed. Join Klaus as he bonds with the neighborhood squirrel, plays ball at the park, and dances for treats.
I enjoyed this engaging picture book of 39 pages which clearly displayed the author’s love for his pet. The story is mostly told by Klaus, although some pages are in a different voice. The illustrations are charming, and they will delight the young reader (and the older ones, too). The toddler will see that a typical day for Klaus mirrors a typical day for a preschool child. The reader will find simple yet valuable lessons in the book: eat right, celebrate friends, and be grateful at the day’s end. The text is written in very clear font using entertaining rhymes. A game of spotting certain items adds to the fun.
While the book is wonderful as is, there is room for improvement. Some illustrations do not agree with the accompanying text. There are also inconsistencies in the drawings. Sometimes Klaus is missing his blue collar; the collar has his name on only two pages. Klaus’ bedroom is obviously different on page 33. The author uses the same picture for waking up and for preparing for bed; this may confuse a young reader. A few pictures, those on pages 13 to 15 in particular, need more color and variety. The two photographs of Klaus look similar; I recommend using different shots and even adding a couple more.
As this is a children’s book, it needs better grammar, too. The errors are usually punctuation and capitalization issues which may be corrected in a jiffy. A glossary might be helpful to define big and unusual words like “mocking,” “defiance,” “duffle,” and “boogaloo.” It is also unclear why some words are in a different color or font. Consistency in the point of view is likewise welcome.
I give this lovely book 3 out of 4 stars and look forward to the improved version very soon. Young children, whether or not they have pets, will find this book a pleasurable adventure. We older folks will remember pets from the past and the many fond memories we shared with those sweet animals. Don’t we miss them?
The Adventures of the Happy Schnauzer Klaus
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