Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Dodsworth in Tokyo

Dodsworth in Tokyo

Tim Egan
Fiction  Series
For ages 7 to 9
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013   ISBN: 978-0547877457

Dodsworth and the duck are on their way to Tokyo in Japan. As he looks down at Mount Fuji from his seat in the plane, Dodsworth can’t help worrying a little. “Japan is a land of customs and manners and order,” and his friend the duck is not very good at following orders or being orderly. Dodsworth tells the duck that they need to be on their “best behavior,” which the duck agrees to, but Dodsworth’s concerns do not go away. As Dodsworth knows all too well, the duck is fond of saying that he will do something, but then he does something else.

   After a rough start all goes well. When they go to a restaurant to have sushi for dinner the duck behaves beautifully and Dodsworth tells his friend how proud he is of him. The next day they take a tour and the duck gets into trouble, as per usual. He falls off a bridge and Dodsworth has to go into the water to save him because the duck cannot swim. Dodsworth warns the duck that if he misbehaves again he will not get to try any wagashi, which are Japanese desserts.

   The duck and Dodsworth are able to complete their tour without further mishap, but when they visit the temple at Asakusa, the duck reverts to his not-so-cooperative self. He wanders off and disappears into the crowd. Duck loves the music and dancing and so he joins in, much to Dodsworth’s mortification, and then everything goes horribly wrong.

   It is almost impossible to guess what is going to happen when Dodsworth and the duck visit a new country. Just when you think all is well, the duck does something that creates chaos out of calm. He is a waddling disaster area, and yet he is so endearing that we cannot help liking him all the same.

   Children who are just learning how to read on their own are going to love this early reader chapter book. They get to visit some of Tokyo’s famous attraction, and they also get to spend time with Dodsworth and his unpredictable friend.

  

 

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