Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Dog Town by Debbie L. Richardson

Dog TownDog Town by Debbie L Richardson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Harry, a small brown dog of indeterminate breeding, lives in Little Rover, the small-dogs-only section of Dog Town, with his best friends, Junior, a beagle, and Fleabag, a Chihuahua. He’s a good boy that loves to run and, mostly, obeys the Dog Law. Mostly. Because each time Harry wins a race around Little Rover, he leads an excursion of small dogs into the forbidden territory of the large dogs, Big Rover.

One night on one such tour, Harry and his doggo tourists are surprised by the appearance of the leader of the large dogs, Grizzly, a Doberman pinscher, and his two hench-dogs, Chains and Diesel. The small dogs escape except for Harry who gets left behind, knocked unconscious, behind a large, blue dumpster. Unbeknownst to Grizzly and his pals, when Harry comes to, he realizes the big large dogs are searching for something, and it’s not him. As Harry creeps away, he discovers a hidden underground passage, a stormwater drainage pipe that leads him to a most amazing place: Cat World.

In Harry’s town, there are no cats; they have been extinct for as long as Harry can remember. It is only in dreams that Harry has ever seen a cat, or so he thought. But there in Cat World were all sorts of the creatures: playing, laughing, singing, even watching TV on a comfy sofa. Stealthily, Harry finds his out and back home to Little Rover where he now has a dilemma. If he tells the dogs of Dog Town about Cat World, Grizzly and his gang will destroy the place and harm the cats which Harry doesn’t want to happen. But the cats are hiding an awful secret. Inside their hidden world is a big, horrendous statue of a cat and it is made out of puppy teeth!

Author Debbie L. Richardson has created a fun world of dogs and cats long separated due to an argument among the best of friends – the worst kind of argument you can have! With fun, distinctive characters, readers young and old will enjoy watching them work out their differences. The races incorporated into the story are exciting and the big dogs and night-time settings provide the right amount of menace for thrills. There are doggy puns woven in every now and then that will have readers smiling as will the fun and appropriately doggo names of the streets in the town: Chew Toy Lane, Good Girl Avenue, Fat Belly Road, and the like.

I highly recommend this book, especially for middle-grade readers, and it would be perfect as a school or family read-aloud selection. The writing is so clear and descriptive you can easily see the action, colors, and characters in your mind’s eye. It would make a wonderful film!

I voluntarily reviewed this after receiving a free copy.

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