on 1 August 2014
I thought I hadn't read this before but not too many pages in I realized I had. My eldest son was quite fond of this author so we've had a lot of his books in the house and I still have some left, but my youngest never took to them. Smasher is a cute book. A bit of a take on the ugly duckling story. This is an easy chapter book as well. Probably good for average 3rd grade readers. This is a realistic story of a "throwback" puppy of a litter; he's not weak or a runt. In fact he's the biggest and strongest, but looks nothing like the mother or other pups and is, in the farmer's opinion down right ugly. Smasher truly owns his name by causing all sorts of trouble from chasing chickens and sheep to entering the house, stealing a steak, whizzing in the living room and causing major havoc. Mrs. Farmer has enough and orders the pup begone. In this heart-warming story the kind-hearted farmer has grown too fond of "Smasher" to get rid of him so instead secretly spends three months training him. On his first day back to the farm Smasher surprises everyone with a skill no one knew he had. Now he can earn his bread and board as a house dog! I'm not familiar with the illustrator but Richard Bernal has adorable old-fashioned drawings that let the story remain ageless. Though the text does tell us their are "video recording machines".
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 6 November 2006
The old farmer and his wife are full of character! The puppy is ugly but the farmer keeps him. The farmers sheep dog is the pups mum. The pup is funny and naughty so the farmers wife wants him gone. The farmer trains him in secret and proves he is the best dog ever (even if he is ugly). Very touching and funny. My 8 year old loved it and so did I!