The Next-Door Dogs
The Next-Door Dogs
Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR), Hardcover, 9780374364106, 112pp.
Publication Date: April 14, 2005
Putting a fear to rest
Sara Barker is afraid of dogs. Whenever she sees even a picture of one, she feels clammy and cold all over. So what's Sara to do when she learns that her new next-door neighbor owns two of them? Two young and big dogs, to be specific. Her neighbor turns out to be an ebullient older woman who befriends Sara and promises her dogs will keep their distance. But one day a situation arises in which Sara is forced to venture into the yard next door, even as the dogs there are desperately barking.
Kids will relate to Sara, and dog-lovers will enjoy seeing her overcome her fears in this easy-to-read chapter book, with numerous cheerful pictures. The Next-Door Dogs is a 2006 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.
Amy June Bates is also the illustrator of "Speak to Me" (And I Will Listen between the Lines) by Karen English. She lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
"Nine-year-old Sara Barker isn't afraid of anything...well, anything but dogs. Rodowsky spins another captivating real-life tale for the youngest reader. Frequent, lively illustrations punctuate this heartwarming tale of overcoming fears, becoming independent, and facing personal challenges. Good for Sara and good for her fans." -- Kirkus Reviews
"Rodowsky...treats Sara's dilemma with sympathetic understanding and believable detail. There's hardly a kid alive unfamiliar with the cold feeling of anxiety and the ensuant self-conciousness, and they'll appreciate this respectful treatment of the problem and the unpushy reminder that things can get better." -- The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"Any children with fears of their own will relate to Sara and root for her in this difficult situation. Transitional readers will enjoy this tight, compact story with a fully realized protagonist and a subtle message." -- School Library Journal
"Plentiful full-page illustrations...add to the book's accessibility. Pitched perfectly at younger readers." -- The Horn Book