Shifty McGifty and Slippery Sam

Shifty McGifty and Slippery Sam

Book - 2013
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Does crime really pay? Not for these two burglars. After one bungle too many they decide on a career change that any mother would be proud of!

Shifty McGifty and Slippery Sam are two hapless robber dogs who decide the perfect way to rob their neighbors would be to invite them over for a lovely tea party. The only problem is they've never baked a cupcake or pastry in their lives. Could this be the change of pace they've been looking for? A funny, quirky story, deliciously dished up!
Publisher: Somerville, Mass. : Nosy Crow, c2013.
ISBN: 9780763668389
Branch Call Number: Z COR
Characteristics: [32] p. : col. ill. ; 30 cm.
Additional Contributors: Lenton, Steven - Illustrator


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Feb 27, 2016

SUMMARY: Two robber dogs are having a hard time finding success on the "job." The dogs come up with a scheme to lure their neighbors to their home for a tea party while they sneak out to rob their homes. But two things happen. First, the dogs really enjoy the baking for the party and second, the neighbors catch on and catch the dogs in the act. The dogs agree they need a better job that doesn't hurt others, but don't know what to do until a neighbor pipes up and suggests opening their own cafe. Shifty McGifty and Slippery Sam begin a new life they are proud of.

ILLUSTRATIONS: The illustrations were created in mixed media. There is a lot of creativity and fun. The pages, however, are a bit cluttered at times and don't have enough color contrast to fully enjoy each item on the page. Some of the pages are a bit too dark and black lettering on a gray background makes for a very difficult read.

THE GOOD: There is a good moral here that everyone can find a good honest job they enjoy. I especially enjoyed the fact that the dogs didn't just get a job, but one they really loved. I enjoyed watching their baked treats pile up as they learned to cook. There was lots of humor throughout the book making it a lighter read.
THE NOT AS GOOD: I love Tracey Corderoy books, but I have mixed feelings about this one. First, this is a book that is 3/4 about crime. I would find it very hard to read this to a group of children even though the ending comes out well. And speaking of endings; there are absolutely no consequences for these dogs, who attempted to steal, which is a crime in itself. They get off scot-free. Finally, this is a rhyming book. And although the rhyming was not too badly done, it felt very wrong for the serious nature of the story.
"He thought for a moment. 'I know what we'll do!
We'll throw a tea party--tomorrow at two.
And then, when the neighbors are here having fun,
we'll sneak to their houses and rob every one!'"

You may find this to be reminiscent of The Grinch. So why do I feel better about the Grinch, than I do about these two thieving dogs? It's because the Grinch finds his heart and realizes what he has done is wrong BEFORE he is caught. I would have liked this story better if the dogs used their conscience and turned things around on their own.

AGE RECOMMENDATION: Advertised for ages 4-8, but I think due to the crime element, I would recommend it for the older range of 6-8.

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