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Gus the Alaskan Pilot Dog Series Review by Gwen Toliver

Paws Up Publishing
Yolanda Kelly/Lee and Gina Kijewski

Gus is an ordinary talking dog. He sees a plane and decides he wants to fly in it. He asks the pilot for a ride; of course the pilot says, “Yes”! Gus loves flying and ends the book with his familiar “Paws Up!” phrase.

In the next book, Gus decides he likes flying so much that the pilot teaches him how to fly a plane. Gus learns how to fly and gets his license. It ends with another “Paws Up!” The third one was our family favorite in which Gus gets involved in a real rescue amidst the beautiful Alaskan glaciers.

The books are not very suspenseful and the plot is really predictable. In some places the punctuation seemed to have been overlooked by an editor and I felt that a few issues like missing or inconsistent commas would have made the books more polished.

While the illustrations were very simple, they actually seemed to suit the style of book quite well. My little ones liked Gus’s happy face and chimed in with a “Paws up!” when the line was repeated from book to book.

These books are best for children ages two to four years old or for new readers. They’re also a good way to introduce Alaska to little ones. I like integrating literature in with our geography studies and this series would be suitable for that with your younger children. While these picture books were not my favorite and could have used a bit more polishing, I do feel that they did a good job of introducing some Alaskan culture and sights to children.

Priced very reasonably, the books are only $6.95 each or $18.95 for the three book set. For this excellent price, it’s a worthwhile addition to your family library and your little ones will enjoy learning about the wild frontier of Alaska.

Product Review by Gwen Toliver, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, July, 2014