Friday, September 07, 2012

Pooch Spa: Olivia and The Dog Wash by Natasha Shaw

One day when they were out in the backyard, Mom told Olivia that she wanted to raise money for the library to buy books for the children's reading room.

"I'll think of some way to help, too!" said Olivia.

And when Olivia spies her pooch Perry all merry in a mud puddle, she has a typical brainstorm. Rounding up Francine, Daisy, and Julian, Olivia declares that they are going to sponsor a neighborhood dog wash--with Perry as their poster pup--and make some money for the children's department of the library. Francine is on board if some of the money will go for princess books, and soon everyone is rounding up supplies--two plastic wading pools, one for sudsing, one for rinsing, dog body wash, and lots of old towels.

Olivia hangs out her shingle --THE WOOF WOOF WASH--and soon neighborhood dogs are showing up for Olivia's puppy spa. Their favorite teacher, Mrs. Hoggenmuller, even gets in the spirit by bringing her precious pet turkey, Gobbles, in for a feather freshening.

As Julian races by with his remote control car, he decides to add a bit of technology to this operation by rigging an exercise bike up to provide the motive power for a fan to speed up the doggy drying process. All is going swimmingly, until---

--a squirrel cruises by. Suddenly, dogs in all stages of the wash get loose and join in a jolly squirrel chase all over the backyard, getting dirty all over again in the process. How to round up all those slippery, soapy hounds?

"The dogs are out of control!" shouted Julian.

"We must find something dogs like MORE than squirrels!" said Olivia.


But how to control where the dogs go to catch that bone? Julian's technology-tuned eyes spot his idle remote control car. Hmmm! Will Olivia's Woof-Woof Wash soon be back in business?

Ian Falconer's classic character Olivia cleans up in the fund-raising business in the latest Olivia adventure, OLIVIA and the Dog Wash (Simon Spotlight, 2012), illustrated in classic style by stand-in artist Shana L. Johnson, with text adapted by Natalie Shaw. Good clean fun and new books for the kids' room at the library! What's not to like about that Olivia!



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