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Dog Night at the Story Zoo    by Dan Bar-el & Vicki Nerino order for
Dog Night at the Story Zoo
by Dan Bar-el
Order:  USA  Can
Tundra, 2017 (2017)
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

In this engaging graphic novel, Dog Night at the Story Zoo - written by Dan Bar-el, illustrated by Vicki Nerino, and intended for young readers aged seven to ten - it's Open Mic Night at the Story Zoo for domestics, and canines are telling four tales: Fetch!, The Storm Before the Calm, Tender on the Inside, and The Hound of Bakersville.

Boomer's up first, raving about his passion for fetching, and how it eventually led him to a 'new best friend'. After some amusing asides from other animals and insects, we hear from yappy and peppy toy poodle Emma. She was dumped by her original family and then picked to be the new Fifi in a traveling dog show. When that gig crashed, she ended up with elderly Ellen - with whom her yapping saved the day.

Next up is bulldog Walter, who reads a sad but funny poem and seeks - and finds - a most surprising 'kind caring soul mate'. And finally we hear from hound Wilmette, a working dog in Bakersville who could 'ferret out the most elusive criminal' in the Smoky Mountains - until she lost her sense of smell! What to do? She consults a mutt from England, named Surelick, and they solve the case together.

Dog Night at the Story Zoo is tremendous fun (for all ages), and just might make you view your own pooch a little differently in the morning.

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