Thursday, June 3, 2010

Shampoodle - laughs for early readers (ages 6 - 8)

Soap, bubbles and cute dogs - it's a recipe for instant fun. In Shampoodle, a easy reader designed for kids who are still reading with help, you'll find great rhythm and rhyme, fun humor and silly illustrations.
Step into Reading, Level 2by Joan Holub
illustrated by Tim Bowers
NY: Random House, 2009
ages 6 - 8
available on Amazon and at your local library
It's picture day for all the neighborhood kids and their dogs. But first, these dogs need some sprucing up. So they’re off to Shampoodle, the local pet salon, to get washed and groomed. These silly dogs just cannot sit still. And when some pesky cats creep in, things go from messy to mayhem.
Holub writes in fun, bouncy rhyming text. This helps readers guess at words they may not be familiar with. Here's a sample:
Barking. Bouncing.
Dogs trot in.
Sniffing. Snuffling.
Let's begin!
Pushing buttons.
Zooming up.
Spinning. Twirling.
Dizzy pup.

Scrubbing. Bubbling.
No! Don't shake!
Dogs won't listen.Big mistake.

(c) Joan Holub, 2009
By the end, the dogs are all ready for their pictures. One has spiked hair, another a mohawk, and another purple hair. Tim Bower's illustrations are a perfect for easy readers. His doggies will have you laughing, as you can see from the goofy poodle on the cover. They are bright and colorful, drawing in young kids and helping them understand the story. But they don't overpower or distract new readers from the words. Don't you just love how the pet groomer's personalities match the doggies they're working on?
Shampoodle is perfect for kids who love the dog stories in the Biscuit series, but want something a little sillier and with more complex words. It's aimed at children reading with help, who can recognize familiar words on sight and sound out new words with a little help. Another great, silly dog story for early readers is the Max Spaniel series by David Catrow. Dinosaur Hunt was a favorite from last year, and Funny Lunch has just come out.

Shampoodle was a finalist in the 2009 Cybils awards, and is included in the 2010 Best Children's Books of the Year, announced by the Bank Street College Children's Book Commitee.

For other great poetry and poems, check out Poetry Friday hosted today by Kelly Metzger at The Cazzy Files ( Stop by and see a bundle of great stuff!

The review copy came from the publisher as part of the Cybils awards (I served on the juding panel). Please note that if you make a purchase on Amazon using the links here, a small portion will go toward Great Kid Books (at no cost to you!). Thank you for your support.


  1. Thanks for sharing the poetry, but especially the illustrations, Mary Ann! My kids have outgrown this level, so I often miss books for younger ones. I'm looking forward to checking it out.

  2. Mary Ann,

    These look like really fun books! I will check them out.

    Laura Evans

  3. I'm so glad you like the illustrations. I was so happy, really thrilled when Tim Bowers shared these with me. Hooray for email!! And many thanks to Tim.