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One-Dog Canoe


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About the Author

Mary Casanova is the author of several novels and picture books including The Hunter, a Booklist Editors' Choice and a winner of the Minnesota Book Award, and Dog Watch, a series of books for early readers. She lives in Ranier, Minnesota. Ard Hoyt is a graduate of the Art Center College of Design. He's also the illustrator of I'm a Manatee by John Lithgow and Saying Goodbye to Lulu, an ASPCA Henry Bergh Children's Book Award winner by Corinne Demas. He lives in Mesa, Arizona.


Casanova (The Hunter) puts a North Woods spin on the popular folktale "The Mitten" as she loads up a small red canoe with animals of the forest and lake until the tippy boat can take no more. The wide-eyed blonde narrator sets off on a solo canoe ride, only to be accosted by her tail-wagging dog, "Can I come, too?" She replies, "You bet,... a trip for two-just me and you." Successive creatures emerge from land, water and sky to ask the paddling girl the same. She rebuffs them kindly, explaining that the craft is only big enough to accommodate its current occupants ("Maybe next time! It's a one-loon, one-beaver, one-dog canoe"). The animals nevertheless plop right in and make themselves at home. Rhyming text sets a buoyant tone, as do debut artist Hoyt's lively illustrations. Bestowing humorous anthropomorphic expressions on each critter's face, the artist also offers entertaining perspectives of the turmoil in the boat, e.g., enormous Moose, who easily fills most of a spread, settles in among wide-eyed Bear and Wolf, hungry Loon and the incredulous dog, as Beaver flinchingly peers out from beneath a paddle. An amusing subplot, about the fate of the girl's picnic lunch, develops wordlessly, to great effect. Readers will happily embark on this animated excursion. Ages 3-6. (Mar.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

PreS-Gr 1-A lively rhyming text and a wry sense of humor take a wide-eyed, ponytailed little girl and her dog on an adventurous trip down the river. As they set off, they are accosted by a seemingly endless train of hitchhiking animals that ask, "Can I come, too?" And although it is just a "one-dog canoe," this kindhearted child cannot help but say yes to the beaver, the loon, the wolf, the bear, the moose, and, finally, the frog that is just enough of a straw to break this red canoe's back. So with a "Swoosh-a-bang flop!" over they all go into the water. But despite the dunking, the girl remains resolutely upbeat, since they "had a good swim!" Well patterned, this story has the expected ending, but the choice of animals gives it a strong sense of place, as the girl encounters backwoods creatures and eventually paddles off into the Northern Lights. From the bucktoothed, begging beaver to the supremely confident wolf to the sad-eyed moose, the watercolor illustrations give the animals lots of personality, and the picture of all of them stuffed into the groaning canoe as well as of their inevitable big splash will surely elicit giggles. Pair this title with John Burningham's Mr. Gumpy's Outing (Holt, 1995) for some silly storytime fun.-Jane Marino, Scarsdale Public Library, NY Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

"Rhyming text sets a buoyant tone, as do debut artist Hoyt's lively illustrations. . . . Readers will happily embark on this animated excursion." --Publishers Weekly "A girl sets out on a canoe ride and is joined by her dog, then a variety of animal passengers. . . . Hoyt, in his children's book debut, plays with perspective . . . [while] Casanova's rhyming text employs a familiar cumulative twist as each animal requests a ride." --Kirkus Reviews "A lively rhyming text and wry sense of humor take a wide-eyed, ponytailed little girl and her dog on an adventurous trip down the river. . . . Their inevitable big splash will surely elicit giggles." --School Library Journal

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