Barking for Bagels by Michael Rosen and Tony Ross

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Barking for Bagels by Michael Rosen and Tony Ross

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Category: For Sharing
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Ruth Ng
Reviewed by Ruth Ng
Summary: A greedy lost doggy in a potentially tragic story...don't worry, everything works out in the end!
Buy? yes Borrow? yes
Pages: 96 Date: February 2017
Publisher: Andersen Press
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 9781783445059

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Barking for Bagels is the story of Schnipp the dog, who loves her owners very much, though she does find their snickering a little annoying from time to time. One day, whilst out for a walk in the park, she starts to run away, and she finds that once she starts running she can't stop, and she runs and she runs until she finds Bessie the Bagel lady and thus discovers her new favourite food, and her new home.

Schnipp is a bit of a character! She's a sweet dog, but she is rather fickle, and I liked the way the story created both humour and sadness around her newfound passion for bagels, and her lack of worry about her old family or how they must be missing her. It's interesting that the story is told from her point of view, and so we see her doggy opinions on foxes (they tell good knock knock jokes…) as well as two full pages all about the wonderful smells she can smell in the food market she discovers whilst running away!

After putting on weight (too many bagels!) and narrowly missing seeing her previous owners who come to the bagel van one day (she is too fat to slip out of the space where she is hiding!) she finally decides to set off back home. It is both funny, and a little worrying, that when she gets there she discovers that her owners now have another dog, called Fotz! After rather a lot of growling they finally reach a state of equilibrium when they both agree that bagels are delicious! And so Schnipp is welcomed back home, and discovers that a little annoying snickering is worth putting up with.

Written as a short chapter book, this is a lovely start for early readers who've progressed from Biff and Chip and need something a bit more meaty to get their reading chops into. It isn't overly easy, and there's lots of challenging vocabulary (such as snickering, and decisive, both of which are explained to the reader). There's an illustration on each page, and so readers often only need to figure out a sentence or two per page, helping them move through the story at a good pace, and the chapter divisions allow for a break now and then, if needed. The illustrations are just as wonderful as you'd expect them to be from Tony Ross. Schnipp is a sweet dog, the foxes are suitably sly-looking, and I really liked a couple of the pictures of Schnipp and Bessie where we see them happy in the bagel van together. They all help the story along, supporting the text to help the reader, and have lots of fun and movement about them.

I enjoyed the slightly unsettling doggy point of view style, and I must admit I was relieved there was a happy ending for Schnipp, since it seemed like there might not be for a while! The only aspect left unanswered for me is what happens to poor Bessie the Bagel lady? She, after all, loses her doggy companion. Perhaps she just comfort-ate bagels, to make her feel better? Or perhaps some other new doggy friend, needing a home, sniffed her out? I shall try not to worry about it too much, and just feel happy for Schnipp and her new friend Fotz!

Further reading suggestion: Early readers might also enjoy trying Fluff the Farting Fish by Michael Rosen and Tony Ross and The Dotty Dalmatian by Anna Wilson.

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Buy Barking for Bagels by Michael Rosen and Tony Ross at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Barking for Bagels by Michael Rosen and Tony Ross at Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy Barking for Bagels by Michael Rosen and Tony Ross at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Barking for Bagels by Michael Rosen and Tony Ross at


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