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Book review: 'Scooter in the Outside' looks at scary world

Published: Saturday, April 7 2012 4:00 p.m. MDT

"Scooter in the Outside" is by local author Anne Bowen, who will be reading it Saturday, April 14, at the King's English Bookshop.

Provided by the publisher

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"SCOOTER IN THE OUTSIDE," by Anne Bowen, illustrated by Abby Carter, Holiday House, $16.95 (ages 5-7)

When Scooter slips through the open door, he begins a first on-his-own exploration of the outside beyond his own familiar street. “Look at me!” he barked to the world. But what came out was "Woofa-Woofa-Woofa!"

Before, walking with Lucy hadn’t been scary, but now strange dogs bark at him, a fire truck roars past and a garbage truck opens “its giant mouth.” Scooter decides the outside without Lucy is mean and scary.

With “arf’s,” “woofs” and tail “thwappas,” Scooter and his big doggy eyes will jump from the page into children’s hearts. Carter’s pastel watercolors accent the story with just the right gentle touch.

Bowen’s message will not be lost on even the youngest listeners who themselves might sometimes have ventured away for only a moment’s scare. “Scooter in the Outside" leaves a reassurance of crossing to the unfamiliar but only with someone who loves and watches out. Children will clamor for re-readings to feel secure with Scooter’s — and their own — safety.

Author Anne Bowen lives in Ogden and received the 1996-97 Utah English/Language Arts Teacher of the Year Award.

if you go ...

What: Anne Bowen book signing and storytime

When: Saturday, April 14, 2 p.m.

Where: The King's English, 1511 S. 1500 East, Salt Lake City

Web: kingsenglish.com

Email: marilousorensen@ymail.com

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