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- author Jackie French

Thursday 2 May 2024

Review: Smarty Pup: Talent Quest

Smarty Pup, the smartest dog in the world, is back in an all new story, Talent Quest.

The fourth book in Anh Do's Smarty Pup series is packed full of everyday adventures for new readers. 

It begins with Dad's birthday. Birthdays mean presents and if they're to find the right one, JJ will need to remain strong against deliciously distracting food smells at the shops. 

But what to buy for him? And do they have enough money to buy it? 

JJ and Lily hunt for spare change without much luck. Then they discover they have the chance to win a cash prize at the school talent quest.

What will JJ do for his talent? Recite Shakespeare, because of course he's brilliant at it. Or perhaps disco dancing, because he can dance like he's done it for years.

Some of the kids think JJ has a big advantage because he's a smarty pup, and their teacher agrees. But there's one thing he's not so great at. 

When JJ tries singing everyone wants him to stop. Perhaps if he and Lily practice together JJ will improve and they could perform a duet. 

But first Lily and JJ get sidetracked with costumes, because you need to look the part. Then Lily and Dad try all kinds of tricks to help JJ learn to sing and in the process JJ breaks a tooth. He's not at all keen to go to the dentist!

When the talent quest finally begins the students show an array of talents, from comedy to ballet and tap dancing. What will happen when it's JJ and Lily's turn to perform? The end result is rather surprising.

The Smarty Pup series is filled with fun, and JJ's smarty talents lead to unexpected events. Full colour illustrations plus large, easy to read text, and humour are just some of the ingredients that make Smarty Pup: Talent Quest just right for young readers. 

Don't forget to pay attention to the jokes and plays on words that appear throughout the story (Why do aliens always spill their tea? Because of the flying saucers).

Title: Smarty Pup: Talent Quest
Author: Anh Do
Illustrator: Anton Emdin
Publisher: Allen & Unwin, $ 16.99
Publication Date: April 2024
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781761069857
For ages: 6+
Type: Junior Fiction