BREAKFAST FOR JACK; JACK AND THE MISSING PIECE

Pat Schories, Author . Front Street $13.95 (0p) ISBN 978-1-932425-16-1 ISBN 978-1-932425-17-8

With these two wordless stories, Schories (He's Your Dog ) introduces Jack, an eager red-spotted terrier. Like all good comic dog heroes, Jack is much beloved but also mildly hapless and misunderstood—which only serves to make him more winning. In Breakfast for Jack , the household is caught up in a typical weekday morning rush, and so the poor dog inadvertently gets none. Schories beautifully conveys Jack's bewilderment at his neglect: one page shows Jack going back and forth between his empty bowl and the cat's full one. But not to worry—a redheaded boy of six or so, finally remembers to feed the pooch in the nick of time. Jack and the Missing Piece finds the canine hero banished and sulking after pestering the boy and a friend during a session of building blocks play. When the toy used to crown the boys' structure goes missing, Jack seems to possess both motive and opportunity. But some dogged detective work on Jack's part reveals the real culprit—the cat. The cozy familiarity of the plots, the sweet-natured hero and Schories's expert comic pacing of the vignettes (thanks to a skillful combination of spot drawings and full page renderings) adds up to plenty of fun and lots of openings for youngsters to add their own narration, dialogue and woofs. Ages 2-6. (Oct.)

Reviewed on: 12/20/2004
Release date: 10/01/2004
Genre: Children's
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