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Cover image for Barkus. Book 1
Barkus. Book 1
San Francisco : Chronicle Books, [2017]
Physical Description:
43 pages : color illustrations ; 22 cm
Series title(s):
Number in series:
bk. 1.
Barkus -- Barkus sneaks -- A bark in the dark -- Barkus finds a baby -- The story.
Barkus is a large and very smart dog who comes to live with seven-year-old Nicky when Nicky's Uncle Everton goes traveling--and soon he is a family and school favorite.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader LG 2.3 .5.
Added Author:


Call Number
JER MacLachlan

On Order



Meet Barkus. Barkus is loyal. Barkus is generous. Barkus is family.

The exuberant Barkus and his lucky young owner whirl and twirl across the pages of this delightful pre-chapter book series from award-winning author Patricia MacLachlan. The accessible text is ideal for even the newest independent reader, while the warm, humorous story and energetic illustrations will appeal to picture book readers as well as advanced readers.

Author Notes

Patricia MacLachlan was born in Cheyenne, Wyoming on March 3, 1938. She received a B.A. from the University of Connecticut in 1962 and taught English at a junior high school until 1979. She began writing picture books and novels at the age of thirty-five. Her works include The Facts and Fictions of Minna Pratt, Skylark, Caleb's Story, Grandfather's Dance, Three Names, All the Places to Love, Before You Came, Cat Talk, and Snowflakes Fall. She won the Golden Kite Award for Arthur, for the Very First Time and the 1986 Newbery Medal for Sarah, Plain and Tall.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 5

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 2-When world exploration can wait no more, Uncle Everton leaves his giant travel-averse dog Barkus with his niece Nicky. Barkus quickly nestles right into his new family, soon becoming Nicky's beloved class dog at school, having raucous dog cookie parties with his canine pals, and adopting a purr-fect baby of his own. Newbery Medal author MacLachlan brings to joyful life an amiable trio of forever friends in a hybrid picture and beginning chapter book. In this recorded version, voice actress Lori Gardner takes a straightforward approach. She alters her voice only subtly to indicate different characters, and speaks slowly enough for beginning readers to understand and follow along in the book. With no music or sound effects, the charm of the story and characters shine through unimpeded. Listeners will look forward to more adventures of Barkus and friends. VERDICT A gentle, friendly choice for young listeners and readers; any library would do well to have this title in its collection.-Jennifer Verbrugge, State Library Services, Roseville, MN © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publisher's Weekly Review

Forget about every dog having its day: floppy-eared Barkus owns the entire calendar in this upbeat collection of five stories that bridges picture book and chapter book terrain. Barkus is the "smartest dog in the whole world," according to globetrotting Uncle Everton, who gives Barkus to his niece Nicky. "Does he bark?" asks Nicky's father. "Only when he wants to," replies Uncle Everton. But smarts alone don't explain Barkus's charisma. He follows Nicky to school and, instead of getting the boot, becomes the class dog ("Maybe he will help us all learn to read," says the teacher, after Barkus barks approvingly at the word "dog"). After Barkus decides he doesn't want a "quiet little party" for his birthday, the neighborhood dogs show up and raise the roof, and when Barkus finds a kitten, he gets to both keep and name it. Boutavant (Edmond, the Moonlit Party) contributes cheery, brightly colored cartooning with a 1960s-minimalist aesthetic, but what's truly beguiling is MacLachlan's (The Poet's Dog) benevolent worldview, which suggests that anything's possible if you are clever, reasonably well behaved, and fun to be around. Ages 6-9. Author's agent: Rubin Pfeffer, Rubin Pfeffer Content. (June) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Horn Book Review

When globetrotting Uncle Everton sets off on a new voyage, he leaves Barkus--the smartest dog in the world--with Nicky and her family. In five brief chapters, Barkus and Nicky change the classroom dynamics at school, host a canine birthday party, find a kitten, and camp out in the backyard. Friendship and family are at the heart of this easy reader, with its large text, sizable line spacing, and occasional words and phrases in bigger font for emphasis. MacLachlans first-person narrative gives the story a homey feel, as if readers are being welcomed into the characters inner circle. Boutavants bold, vivid hues pop atop solid-colored backgrounds. Near books end, Nicky cleverly retells hers and Barkuss escapades in a two-page summary thats designed to resemble a rebus puzzle. After finishing this first book in a projected series, fans of Mercy Watson and similar animal stories will be begging for more. elisa gall (c) Copyright 2017. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kirkus Review

A child grows to love a new canine companion in this initial offering in a new series of early chapter books by Newbery Medalist MacLachlan.Protagonist Nicky narrates the story, which is divided into five brief chapters with short sentences set in large type. Nicky's new pet, Barkus, is a large, brown dog who seems friendly, smart, and well-behaved. In short, episodic chapters, Barkus joins Nicky at school, celebrates his birthday with some canine pals, and finds a pet kitten as his special companion. In the final chapter, Nicky, Barkus, and the kitten spend the night in a backyard tent, with Nicky conquering a longstanding fear of the dark. Nicky tells the dog and kitten a bedtime story, which effectively summarizes the entire book in an amusing way. Nicky and Nicky's parents are white, the teacher has tan skin, and Nicky's classmates are a multiethnic group. Cheery illustrations with a perky, 1960s vibe feature polka-dot patterns on the cover and endpapers and depict characters with buggy, cartoon-style eyes. Illustrations on almost every page include a variety of format sizes from small vignettes to full pages, alternating between white and brightly colored backgrounds. Nicky, Barkus, and Baby the kitten will appeal to fans of the Henry and Mudge series as well as to the younger picture-book audience. (Early reader. 4-7) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

New York Review of Books Review

THE PERFECT NANNY, by Leila Slimani. Translated by Sam Taylor. (Penguin, paper, $16.) Two children die at the hands of their nanny in this devastating novel, an unnerving cautionary tale that won France's prestigious Prix Goncourt and analyzes the intimate relationship between mothers and caregivers. KING ZENO, by Nathaniel Rich. (MCD/Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $28.) In Rich's riotous novel about New Orleans a hundred years ago, at the dawn of the Jazz Age, a great American city and a new genre of music take shape as the Spanish flu and a serial ax murderer both run rampant. THE YEARS, by Annie Ernaux. Translated by Alison L. Strayer. (Seven Stories, paper, $19.95.) In this autobiography, the French writer anchors her particular 20th-century memories within the daunting flux of 21st-century consumerism and media domination, turning her experiences into a kind of chorus reflecting on politics and lifestyle changes. DOGS AT THE PERIMETER, by Madeleine Thien. (Norton, paper, $15.95.) Narrated by a neurological researcher whose memories of her childhood in Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge start to leak into her present day, this novel is contrapuntal and elegiac in tone, with a white heat beneath. THE LAST GIRL: My Story of Captivity, and My Fight Against the Islamic State, by Nadia Murad with Jenna Krajeski. (Tim Duggan Books, $27.) Murad, a Yazidi woman, describes the torture and rapes she suffered at the hands of ISIS militants in Iraq before escaping to become a spokeswoman for endangered Yazidis. WINTER, by Ali Smith. (Pantheon, $25.95.) The second in Smith's cycle of seasonal novels depicts a contentious Christmas reunion between two long-estranged sisters. As in "Autumn" (one of the Book Review's 10 Best Books of 2017), a female artist figures prominently, and Smith again takes the nature of consciousness itself as a theme. GREEN, by Sam Graham-Felsen. (Random House, $27.) Set in a majority-minority middle school in 1990s Boston, this debut coming-of-age novel (by the chief blogger for Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign) tells the story of a white boy and a black boy who become friends - to a point. A STATE OF FREEDOM, by Neel Mukherjee. (Norton, $25.95.) Mukherjee's novel, a homage of sorts to V. S. Naipaul, presents five interconnected stories set in India and exploring the lives of the unmoored. BARKUS, by Patricia MacLachlan. (Chronicle, $14.99; ages 4 to 7.) A mysteriously smart dog changes everything for a little girl in this witty beginning to a new early chapter book series from MacLachlan, the author of books for children of all ages. The full reviews of these and other recent books are on the web: nytimes.com/books