Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews



Patricia MacLachlan
Illustrator:  Marc Boutavant 
For ages 5 to 7
Chronicle Books, 2017   ISBN: 978-1452111827

One day Nicky’s favorite uncle, Uncle Everton, comes to visit, and he brings someone with him; his dog Barkus. Uncle Everton is going on a trip around the world and since Barkus does not like to travel, Uncle Everton is hoping that Nicky will be willing to take care of the large, brown dog. Nicky learns that Barkus has very good manners, he knows lots of tricks, he gets along with people, and he doesn’t bite, and so she decides to keep Barkus, who becomes her pet.

It turns out that that there is a lot more to Barkus than is evident at first. On Monday morning Nicky heads off to school, and as she walks she cannot help feeling that someone is following her. It is only when she gets to school that she finds out that Barkus is the one who was shadowing her. The good news is that Nicky’s teacher, Mrs. Gregolian, is open to seeing how Barkus behaves. When he proves that he is a perfect gentledog, and when he helps the children learn to read, she is happy for Barkus to become the class pet.

One day Barkus gets a package in the mail which contains three dog biscuits. Uncle Everton sent them to Barkus because it is his birthday. Nicky thinks that it would be wonderful to have a party for Barkus at school the next day. Unfortunately, the next day is so snowy that school is closed. Barkus is going to make do with having a quiet birthday party after dinner. The thing is that Barkus does not want a quiet party. He wants a noisy one!

This charming book, written by the award winning author Patricia MacLachlan, gives young readers five stories featuring a wonderful dog who has a delightful personality. He also happens to know exactly what he wants, and without any fuss or bother he makes sure that he gets it. Young children are going to love this charming chapter book, which is the first title in a new series of books that feature Barkus.