When 11-yr-old Birdie Gaux adopts a large rescue dog from the pound, she thinks he’s the perfect mix of Bernese Mountain, Labrador retriever and a few other non-distinguishable breeds. Birdie names him Bowser. It’s love at first sight for both of them. Birdie’s grandmother just thinks he’ll eat them out of house and home.
Bowser goes to live with Birdie and her guardian grandmother in a small town in Louisiana on the bayou. Birdie’s grandmother owns a fish and bait shop. Right after Bowser is adopted, they discover that great-grandfather’s trophy marlin “Black Jack” has been stolen from the shop. There are rumors that a treasure map is hidden inside Black Jack.
Eager to please his new owner, Bowser is sure he can help Birdie find the trophy fish and the map. Even though Bowser thinks that Birdie is the most perfect person in the world, he’s not impressed with her hearing or her night-time vision. And her sense of smell is terrible! She can’t even smell the gator right under their boat or the cigar butts left behind by the bad guy! Really, how did Birdie ever get along without him?
Bowser is priceless. You just have to love how he loves his girl. He’d do anything for her even if he’s not always 100% sure of what the right thing is. In his bumbling way, he helps her solve the mystery.
Quinn creates a canine character that is sure to be a kid favorite. The story is told from Bowser’s point of view and it feels real to me. Bowser thinks just what I imagine my dog thinks although I don’t think my dog idolizes me as much as Bowser adores Birdie.
Woof is a solid mystery with a strong tension and action that is topped off with just the right amount of Bowser humor. Perfect for 4th grade and up, although advanced 3rd grade readers will enjoy it too.