Friday, October 23, 2009

What the Nose Knows: Farley Follows His Nose by Lynn Johnston and Beth Cruikshank





and ... HOTDOGS!

Fresh and frisky after his hated early morning bath, Farley is ready for adventure, and for the shaggy canine hero of the popular cartoon strip For Better or For Worse, following the siren call of adventure means, of course, following his nose. Unlike superhuman heroes, dogs don't just smell one thing a time. Dogs inhale a savory stew of olfactory experiences, but Farley is able to parse his perceptions well enough to home in on the heavenly scent of roasting hot dogs, and he's off and running, to the consternation of Mom and the rest of his family, on the trail of the Holy Grail of dogdom--FOOD!

Sniff Snerf Snoof Snuffa Whuff!

Farley catches other odors--apple juice, popcorn, lemon cakes--but also his second-most favorite thing--CHILDREN.

It's a neighborhood cookout, and there's a nice boy there, one who gives him his own hot dog! But when Farley rewards the kid with licks and slurps, the kid's mom bears down on the two with a worried face, and Farley decides it's time to make himself scarce.

As the sun rises higher in the sky Farley follows his nose to the source of a series of delightful scents-- a ham sandwich shared with a cheerful construction worker, a wading pool filled with cool water to slurp and and little kids to splash, and toasted marshmallows, which a supercilious girl reminds him are not good for dogs!

A quick nap in the shade revives Farley, but after following his nose from place to place, he senses that he is far from home. UH OH! But then...

Snuffah Whuffah Snoof Sniff!

Farley's nose picks up a new combination--with just one familiar scent.







It's the little boy who fed him his hot dog, and he's crying. Farley doesn't know what the boy needs, but as he checks him out, scent-wise, he recognizes a familiar potpourri--popcornlemoncakeapplejuicehotdogs...and suddenly Farley's mouth waters with the memory of the place where he found those smells, and with the little boy in tow, Farley follows his nose back to the source of that wonderful hot dog. Backtracking along his scent trail, Farley arrives at the little boy's house, the scene of the block party, but to his surprise the people and their popcorn, cake, juice, and frankfurters have all gone away--except for the kid's parents, who come to the door and hug their long-lost boy. "I'm home! I love you, doggie," he says, and leaves Farley behind as his parents pull him happily inside.

But now it's growing cooler and darker, and Farley is still hungry and a lot lonely. Then, to his waiting nose comes another very familiar olfactory bundle:







It's Uncle Phil, on his way with his usual Saturday night pizzas to share with Farley's family.

"Farley, you big mutt! Where have you been? We've been looking all over town for you!"

Uncle Phil loads Farley up and whisks him home quickly. "Snifffff!" At last everything smells just right.

But humans have noses, too, not as powerful as Farley's, true, but still good enough to smell a stinky dog who's been on the road all day.

"Pee-YEWWWWW!" Elly said. "Farley, you need a BATH!"

Johnston and Cruikshank, creators of the popular strip, have a brand new lost dog tale, Farley Follows His Nose (HarperCollins, 2009) which lets Farley the sheepdog shine. Dog-loving kids will enjoy seeing the familiar Farley featured in his own story, and Johnston's comic illustrative style lets Farley's body language tell the tale in his own inimitable way.



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