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Book Review: The Adventures of Captain Cur and Wonderflea

December 18, 2006

There’s nothing fun about being a stinky mutt with no family and no prospects in the love department. In fact, it can be downright painful to sit outside the dog park and watch the happy frolicking going on inside. And when finally given the chance to join the fun and meet the object of your affection, to be chased out by a toothy rottweiler… humiliating.

That’s the situation Dog finds himself in as the kids’ book The Adventures of Captain Cur and Wonderflea opens. His one shot at the perfect 10 poodle May destroyed, Dog finds himself on a bridge, staring down at the water, thinking the world would never miss a flea-ridden pooch like him when, lo and behold, he finds there is someone who would miss him. A flea, of course. But not just any flea—Wonderflea, who not only would miss feasting on Dog but also sees something in him that others don’t. Wonderflea dubs him Captain Cur and together they set out to make the world better for outcasts everywhere.

And they live happily together in their symbiotic relationship until the day Dog gets a chance to make the ultimate rescue, pulling his beloved May from the midst of traffic in the nick of time. Captain Cur’s hero status wins him a home with May, but an impending date with a flea bath. Who will he choose? His new love or his new flea friend?

The Adventures of Captain Cur and Wonderflea is a fun story for kids in the early grades, maybe kindergarten through 4th grade (Amazon.com shows an age range of 9-12; I think the higher end of that range is too high). I read it to my 5-year-old son, who loved it, although it was obvious that certain lines were over his head. My 3-year-old daughter wandered away; the illustrations kept her around for a few pages, then she was off to other pursuits.

The book is written by Joel Cohen and Alec Sokolow, two of the writers of the movie Toy Story, so you could say it has a bit of a pedigree (I couldn’t resist), and the illustrations of Damian Ward are colorful, expressive and fun. A portion of the proceeds from book sales go to the non-profit Cygnet Foundation, which raises money for UNICEF as well as animal-related charities, so adding this to your home’s book collection is good for your kids and good for other kids (and animals), too.

e-mail me: adam@bessed.com

Adam Jusko is founder and CEO of Bessed, a Web site promising “search without spam”, thanks to human-edited search results and ongoing visitor feedback. Do a search, offer your comments, submit your site–help create the “bessed” search site in the world.

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