Gaspard on Vacation

by Anne Gutman, Illustrations by Goerg Hallensleben

Knopf, March, 2001.
Picture Book, 32 pages.
ISBN: 037581115X
Ages 4-8

Gaspard on Vacation by Anne Gutman The Misadventures of Gaspard and Lisa detail the doings of two darling little dogs who get into all kinds of trouble. In Gaspard on Vacation, the little black dog Gaspard visits Venice with his family. They visit museum, after museum, after museum. Bored as only a child traipsing after adults in artistic and/or literary pursuits can be, Gaspard spots a fabulous red kayak in the canal. As quick as winking, he's jumped into the kayak and headed off down the waterways. But Gaspard is far from being an experienced kayaker and crashes into a gondola, which causes its occupants to land headfirst in the canal. Frightened, he runs and hides in a church. But then it gets dark outside and things look grim for the little dog. But the police arrive, reunite Gaspard with his family and they all head off to a restaurant to have "the best spaghetti in the world."

Gaspard on Vacation has just the right amount of excitement and suspense, but also a comforting and happy ending with the arrival of the police and the "best spaghetti dinner in the world." Illustrator Georg Hallensleben uses bright acrylic paints to create a festive and expressive look to the familiar sights of Venice, and the illustrations perfectly complement the style and tone of the lighthearted text. Gaspard is an absolute charmer and his tale will please both adults and children alike.

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This review was published in the May, 2001 of The Internet Writing Journal.

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