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Wednesday, November 24, 2021


artSMart chatted to Landon, a nine-year-old dog and booklover who lapped up this title in Steven Butler and James Patterson’s Dog Diaries series. Here’s what young Landon thought:

Tell us about “Dog Diaries: Big Top Bonanza!” in one sentence.

It’s about a dog, Junior, who is curious about what his human family is up to and then he finds out that they’re going to the circus, so he follows them, and things get out of hand.

What was the best part of the book for you?

I think the best part of the book – which made me laugh out loud – was… so Rafe (or RUFF), Junior’s human, was getting shouted at by his mom and the mom was saying, “Why do you always have to be with that naughty dog?”

Was there any part of the story that you didn’t expect?

I didn’t expect, and I couldn’t believe, the part of the book where Junior was able to howl so loudly that his howl broke windows a mile away.

If you could hang out with any character from this book for one day, who would it be and why?

I might hang out with Junior. He’s such a cool character. He’s really interesting and mischievous and full of energy. I’m sure my little brother would like to join us because he is VERY full of energy too.

If this book was turned into a movie, do you think the movie or the book would be better?

Ummm – I think the book would be better. It has a few drawings that show what is happening in the story. And you can also use your imagination to picture the story however you want. It’s like Matilda; my teacher is reading Matilda to us at school. I’ve seen the movie once or twice and I’m enjoying the book more because there are a few parts in the book that they don’t show in the movie. So, the book is always better.

If you had to describe this book in one word, what word would you choose?


Were there any new words that you learned while reading the book?

Ummm. I did. It was… I think, a French word, but I can’t remember. It was definitely a different language. It was either French or Italian – I think that word meant ‘awesome’.

How do you think the author wanted their book to make you feel?

I think the author wanted kids reading this to feel entertained. (What do you call it when something is funny?) Amused. Entertained and amused. And relaxed.

If you could ask the author one question, what would you ask?

There are two things I would ask. One: How did he come up with the story and two: what was going through his mind when he wrote this book?

Do you have a friend who you think would like this book?

I have two. My one friend likes long books like Diary of a Wimpy Kid. I’m sure he would enjoy Big Top Bonanza! just as much. My other friend also just likes reading – I’m sure he would like this book. And they both like dogs, too.

Does this author have any other books?

I saw on the back of the book that there is a list of all the books in this series. Sadly, I haven’t read any of the other books in this collection. – Landon Millar (9 years old)


Dog Diaries: Big Top Bonanza! #7 in the Series: Dog Diaries published by Arrow (Young). ISBN 9781529120295. Recommended Price R100.00