Title: Sprout and the DogsitterSprout and the Dogsitter
Author: Jenifer Wayne
Illustrator: Gail Owens
Pages: 89
Reading Level: 8-10
Star Rating: ★★★

A random hardcover.

The Story.

Sprout is a growing boy. He grows both ways. Up and out. The truth is, he can never eat enough food. When he’s done eating his lunch, he often eats his classmates’ leftovers.

Then one day, something shocking happens. As Sprout stares at his second lunch-time sandwich, he discovers he no longer wants to eat it! He goes entirely off his feed – nothing appeals to him, not toast or grapes, or anything! The first sign he shows of returning to his normal self is when he hears that mince pie will be served to everyone who participates in the Christmas caroling. He decides emphatically that he WILL sing and that he WILL eat mince pie afterwards.

But the caroling night turns into a far bigger adventure than anyone could have imagined as Sprout finds himself running around the snow-covered city with his little sister, Tilly, and a giant dog whom he is trying to return to his owner. Will Sprout ever return to his normal eating habits? And will the dog’s owner be found?


Sprout isn’t a bratty or sarcastic child, but he is a willful one. He is often frustrated by his little sister’s constant attempts to imitate him, and is not above calling her names. When adults try to stand in his way, he skillfully talks them over to his side of things. He’s rather cute and funny while he’s doing this, but isn’t what I would consider to be a well-behaved child.

The second half of the story – when Sprout is trying to return the monstrous English sheepdog to his owner – is far more enjoyable and humorous than the first half (which is concerned primarily with the oddity of Sprout’s fast).

Conclusion. Overall okay – the story only felt a tad wacky.

Review © 2014 Laura Verret

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