Follow That Dog (Through the Rug 2)
Jill Ammon Vanderwood
Mill Creek Press (2007)
ISBN 9780979845543
Reviewed by Maya Landers (age 10) for Reader Views (1/08)

“Follow that Dog,” by Jill Ammon Vanderwood, describes how a girl and her Grandma fall through a slime-covered rug to Wishville, a magical land where all of their wishes come true. Although the book was entertaining, I did not find it very engaging. It was somewhat funny, but not side-splitting, roll-around-on-the-floor hilarious. I was not very convinced by the fantasy world that Vanderwood created.

The characters never experienced any major conflict because they could always wish themselves out of any situation. Although there are some minor conflicts, the characters always remember just in time that they can make a wish to save themselves. For this reason, the plot moves along quickly — maybe even too quickly. Since the characters can wish themselves anywhere and can wish themselves to do anything, one minute Grandma Emma and Alyssa are on a camping trip with their newfound friends, and the next minute they appear at their dog wedding.

Whenever a character leaves Wishville, they get a return token. To return, all they have to do is rub the token, blow on the coin, and say “Wishville” aloud. Several minor characters arrived in Wishville by accidentally finding these return tokens. All of these characters had similar reactions: they first acted slightly confused, then wished for something (not knowing whether they would get their wish), then got their wish granted.  Realizing the implication of this, they immediately begin wishing for all sorts of things. They even wished for more hours in a day and more days in the week.

Grandma Emma and Alyssa did not appear surprised when they were transported to a magical world where all of their wishes came true. I have not read the previous book, “Through the Rug,” and that might explain why some of the strange occurrences appeared commonplace. For instance, the dog, Domino, suddenly stood on two legs, spoke like a human, and announced that he was getting married to a pink poodle.  Aside from a few references to the previous book, however, the reader could easily follow the plot of this sequel, “Follow that Dog.”

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