Bosco the Beagle Goes to School
by Sharon Stancil Howard
Trafford Publishing

"He jumped from his desk with the chalk in his paw. Made his way to the board and started to draw."

It's hard not to smile at the human-like characteristics of this smart and funny little Beagle named Bosco. He walks on two legs, more often than four, dons a green turtleneck sweater and pink backpack (He's man enough to carry it off), and proudly boards the bus with his best friend Beanie, heading off for a day of classroom academics. Bosco is smitten with the teacher and quickly attains teacher's pet status as he helps out with a math lesson. With thinking cap on, and chalk in hand, Bosco captivates the students and learning becomes fun. Antics fill the classroom, and in the end this comical Beagle learns a valuable lesson about laughing at your own mistakes.

Clearly Sharon Stancil Howard knows children and pets. As both author and illustrator, she captures our attention with truly creative rhyming verse, including substantial words to expand a child's vocabulary, and simple drawings with expressive touches, like Bosco's toothy grin and the teacher's big bouffant hair do, bringing chuckles and charm to the pages. The anthropomorphic qualities of this four-footed central character account for the high relatability factor for young readers. This is a dog who whistles a tune while taking a bath, brushes his teeth, and entertains a classroom. Undoubtedly both Bosco and the author have a sense of humor.

Like the beloved, ubiquitous "Snoopy" of Charles Schulz comic strip fame, in Bosco Howard gives us a likeable, talented, and genuine character. As the second book in the Bosco series, this can be a fun and entertaining solo children's read, or a book for parents and little ones to share, particularly those who might be approaching the first days of school. Hopefully Howard will follow-up with additional adventures for this kind-hearted, scholarly, fun-loving canine, who knows how to make us laugh and offer a valuable lesson at the same time. Truly a clever way to teach.

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