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Dear Hound. Jill Murphy


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About the Author

Jill Murphy started putting books together (literally with a stapler) when she was six. She went on to study at Chelsea, Croydon and Camberwell Schools of Art. One of her best-loved books, The Worst Witch, was first published in 1974 and has been enjoyed by readers for more than 30 years. The Worst Witch series has sold over four million copies. Jill Murphy has also written and illustrated several award-winning picture books for younger children.


Gr 2-4-Alfie, a huge deerhound puppy with expressive ears, gets lost in the heath after he escapes from his dog-sitter. As Charlie and his mother wander around town looking for their pet and hanging up posters, Alfie searches for them. For months, owners and dog just miss each other, outside of the local restaurant (with an accessible trash bin) and in the moors. The animal's fur becomes more and more unkempt, and his face is matted and smeared with grease and dirt from his frequent Dumpster meals, making him look less and less like the picture on the posters. By the book's end, Alfie has run into a couple of improbable comrades, two unlikely villains, and finally, his family. This chapter book will appeal to fans of animal stories who have moved beyond Arnold Lobel's "Frog and Toad" titles (HarperCollins) but aren't quite ready for the length and complexity of E. B. White's Stuart Little. Murphy's expressive black-and-white line spot drawings (sometimes three to a spread) and deerhound notes ("GARDENING: They are great hole-diggers. Once they've started a hole, they don't stop till Australia") heighten the characterizations and add detail to the settings.-Lindsay Persohn, Crystal Lake Elementary, Lakeland, FL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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