Fenway and the Bone Thieves

Putnam. (Make Way for Fenway!). May 2022. 96p. Tr $14.99. ISBN 9780593406915.
Gr 1-3–The winsome Jack Russell terrier from the “Fenway and Hattie” series returns in two shorter books designed for newly independent readers ready for chapters. In the first book (Fenway and the Bone Thieves), Fenway buries his bone in the “perfect” garden spot, keeping it safe from sneaky squirrels. When he forgets the exact location, Fenway digs and digs before being reunited with his prized possession. In the second, more engaging story (Fenway and the Frisbee Trick), Fenway’s game of fetch is interrupted by a Rottweiler who receives praise for his frisbee-catching abilities. Fenway sets out to master this new skill, but his efforts fall short until he figures out a unique way to use the round disc. Narrated by Fenway, both stories rely on subtle humor to accentuate the differences between dog and human perception. When the delivery man brings a package, Fenway credits himself for getting the man to drop it and leave. When his own misdeeds land Hattie in a time-out, he wonders what she has done. Fenway names his humans using similar dog-centered logic: Mom is Food Lady and Dad is Fetch Man. Divided into 10 chapters of eight to 10 pages each, the books use simple but effective phrasing that includes mostly one- or two-syllable words. Expressive sketches with a charmingly retro feel appear every few pages, breaking up the full-page text and providing clues to Fenway’s state of mind.
VERDICT A good choice for dog lovers ready to dig into chapter books. Written from a dog’s perspective, the jokes may elude some readers, but those who catch on will enjoy a good laugh.

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