51mz7dm2fil_sl500_aa300_WOOF!  WOOF!! Translation from Dogease to English – I want to go out. I want food. I love it when you rub my belly. Whoa, will you take a look at that lovely little poodle.

WOOF, WOOF!!  There you again. I know you are capable of making more than those same old sounds. Say something substantial, would you please, Oscar! Guest reviewer Lindy Michaels of BookStar on Ventura Blvd. in Studio City, thinks this book is a howl and so will you!

Talk, Oscar, Please! ($14.95, Sterling, ages 3-6) was written by Karen Kaufman Orloff and illustrated by Tim Bowers.  Ah, there are so many ways for humans to communicate to each other these days. There’s the tried and true, albeit archaic, looking face to face with someone and actually speaking. Then there’s the, also seemingly archaic, phone conversation. And then there’s emailing, texting, tweeting, ‘face-booking’… have I left anything out?

Yes, that’s all well and good for humans, but the boy in TALK, OSCAR, PLEASE! wishes more than anything, that his doggie, Oscar would, could, oh please, talk, really talk to him. Imagine the conversations they would have. Oh, sure, Oscar yips and howls and barks and whimpers and wheezes, but… “Oh, boy, how I wish you could talk, Oscar – please?”

Not only would that be oh, so cool, but then Oscar could help the boy with his ABC’s, could help coach his soccer team, could crack some jokes, could explain to the vet that it’s fleas that’s really bothering him and even sing his little master some doggie lullabies at bedtime. “You’d lull me to sleep if you’d sing, Oscar – please?”

No, Oscar doesn’t become some magical pooch, in this adorable story, actually yapping in English, but the boy finds there are other ways to communicate with his best friend that are just as satisfying and he realizes that somehow they always know exactly what the other is thinking. Yes, sometimes real love needs no words, at all. A wag of the tail, a jump in the lap, a nuzzle on the neck, a sloppy lick on the face can be even better.

Now, try tweeting that and in rhyme, please!

lindymichaelspicThe very versatile Lindy Michaels aims to inspire young minds through children’s literature. Lindy owned L.A.’s first children’s bookshop, OF BOOKS AND SUCH (1972-1987) where she did storytelling, taught drama to children, had art and poetry contests and the like. According to Lindy, “It was truly a ‘land of enchantment.” She also spent years lecturing on realism in children’s literature at colleges in the state. For close to five years Lindy has worked for Studio City Barnes and Noble (BookStar) in the children’s section and does storytelling every Saturday at 10:30 a.m.

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