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These two Brand New Readers kicked off the popular series from Candlewick. Winnie Plays Ball and Winnie All Day Long are both based on the adventures of my best-beloved dog, Winnie.

In real life, Winnie needed to play ball quite a bit, and this book represents only some of the action. The "yucky balls" are all too real, and Bob (my husband) used to put them on the fence in a sort of folk art display. It is possible that Pogo ate them, because they have disappeared.

From School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 1-Two early readers that introduce Annie, a delightful blonde, blue-eyed toddler, and Winnie, her huge, lovable dog. Each book has four brief stories, told in eight simple sentences running across the bottom of the pages. Winnie's daily activities provide familiar plots as children watch her play with balls and beg to go in and out the door. Each book has directions for parents on "Helping Your Brand-New Reader." The softly colored gouache illustrations are cozy and pleasant. The books are just the right size for small hands and the stories are humorous as well as sequential. They are shorter than Cynthia Rylant's "Henry and Mudge" stories (S & S), although they convey the same droll sense of humor. Popular additions to the easy-reader shelves.-Beth Tegart, Oneida City Schools, NY

Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
The real-life inspiration for YUCKY BALL. Photo: Valli Blanchard
Reviewer: Anita Silvey (Westwood, Ma.)"Great books for this age group are difficult to come by, and Leda Schubert has created two of them with Winnie Plays Ball and Winnie All Day Long. A huge, lovable dog, Winnie proves to be a totally appealing character for young children, and her activities engage their imaginations. These books have the same classic charm as Cynthia Rylant's Henry and Mudge stories, and they are enormously popular with very young children."

In real life, I must report that Winnie totally ran the household. You can find out some of what she did in this book, which I find hilarious, even though I wrote it. And though the real Winnie was black and white, William Benedict's artistic interpretation is just like her.