Written by Lucy Nolan
Illustrated by Mike Reed
Marshall Cavendish Children, 2005. Intermediate. 54 p.
Down Girl is a good-natured dog but sometimes her canine impulses get the best of her as she puzzles through her master’s bizarre human world. “On the Road” is a series of brief, funny vignettes told from Down Girl’s point of view, including a camping trip, adventures in driving, a visit to the dreaded veterinarian, and conflicts with Here Kitty Kitty, the neighbor cat. Dog-owners may be especially amused by Down Girl’s antics but being a total dog novice did not stop me from laughing out loud at least once per page.
This intermediate chapter book would be a great way to introduce young readers to the unique qualities of the first person (or rather, first canine!) narrative. Perspective and voice are also important aspects of Down Girl’s hilarious storytelling, making “On the Road” a potentially useful teaching tool in multiple ways.
Though it can be read as a stand-alone, “On the Road” is the second book in the Down Girl and Sit series. Books 1 through 4 can be found in the J Intermediate section of the library.