Kipper, the generous, fun-loving dog created by British author- illustrator Mick Inkpen, has a go at four different adventures in this little collection, derived from a wonderful television series airing in the U.S. on Nickelodeon. "The Visitor" finds a dozing Kipper awakened by a gosling tapping at his window. The scared little bird has been separated from his flock by a storm, and Kipper--characteristically--takes him in, warms him up, and makes a snuggly bed in which the gosling instantly falls asleep. The next morning is slightly less tranquil as the visitor leaves muddy tracks everywhere and takes a swim in a cleaning bucket, but Kipper, who loves small animals, laughs it all off.
"The Umbrella" is a delightful story about Kipper's rainy-day delays (which include being lifted to the moon in a gust that fills his umbrella) on the way to his fishing date with best pal Tiger, a gentle if overly serious pooch. "The Seaside" concerns a day at the beach for Tiger and Kipper, the latter a bit exasperated over Tiger's strategic preoccupation with "setting up a base camp" before fun is allowed. Finally, "Nothing Ever Happens" features Kipper home alone on another stormy day, alleviating his boredom by exploring the attic and discovering a magician's hat and cane with more tricks than he reckoned. Sweet without pandering, quaint without being corny, the Kipper tales have a timeless charm blending the fanciful with quiet lessons in kindness and getting along. --Tom Keogh
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