cover image Happy Howlidays! A Middle School Story (Dog Diaries #2)

Happy Howlidays! A Middle School Story (Dog Diaries #2)

James Patterson with Steven Butler, illus. by Richard Watson. LB/Patterson, $9.99 (240p) ISBN 978-0-316-45618-0

Junior, the garrulous canine star of Dog Diaries: A Middle School Story, makes the most of his “first-ever Howliday Season” in his festive and funny second outing. He celebrates the spirit of “Fangsgiving” by offering the “baldy bird” a gift—a plastic toy he sneaks into its cavity—necessitating a menu change from turkey to takeout pizza (“Yep... I’m pretty sure I actually saved the day”). As “Critter-mess” approaches, Junior’s exuberance escalates and his rat-a-tat monologue accelerates as he shares his comical perspectives on holiday traditions: “The happy-looking red guy” is named “Saint Lick and he lives up a pole someplace”; and, enthusiastically crooning with his humans on a street corner, he observes, “I have no idea who Carol is or why we’re singing to her, but I think it’s going to be a humdinger of a night.” A Junior-orchestrated Christmas Eve debacle crowns this jolly, energetically illustrated jaunt for readers fond of doggy puns. Ages 7–12. [em](Oct.) [/em]