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The Stink-a-roo Dog & the Forbidden Portal / Once Upon a Dreamland Christmas / Bill at Wit's End / Gus the Duck Review by Amanda Hopkins

Once Upon a Dreamland Christmas #2
Bill at Wit’s End
Gus the Duck
Lea Beall
126 Old Hood Landing Road
Kingston TN 37763

Books in our house outnumber the number of shelves we have to put them on. This is a good thing, in my opinion, and finding the fun and easy to read books are not always easy to do. I was thrilled to review four books written by Lea Beall, The Stink-a-roo Dog and the Forbidden Portal, Once Upon a Dreamland Christmas, Bill at Wit’s End, and Gus the Duck.

The Stink-a-roo Dog is about Patches the Tennessee hound. We follow Patches as he digs in the compost pile, getting coffee spilled on him, and as he introduces us to his pack (family). This is a short 23-page paperback book that includes color pictures. It was fun to read and relate this book to our dog at home. We see life through the eyes of Patches and how a dog really feels about the daily life of the family he belongs to.

Once Upon a Christmas Dreamland is another paperback book about Patches the Tennessee hound dog. This 50-page book is a beginner chapter book that includes colorful pictures to break up the reading. This time, Patches has the Christmas holiday to worry about. Not only that, but there were some issues in the house that he was supposed to be the guardian of. Christmas traditions are a little off this year, there is a broken ornament, and the cats just won’t leave Patches or the tree alone. Patches ends up with a very funnydream, or was it, that leaves him in a better mood about the whole Christmas and all that has been going on.

Bill at Wit’s End is a primer book aimed at beginning readers. This 14-page paperback book contains a funny tale with short vowels. The book that I received for this review was the black and white edition. My beginning reader loved this book. It was easy enough for her to read and was funny at the same time. We follow Wit the dog and Dim the pig, who are friends until a fig causes trouble. At the end of this book, you will find the sounds and letters that your reader will need to know along with some reading tips to help make this a fun experience for your new readers.

Gus the Duck is a single syllable word primer for early readers. This is a cute story about a Gus the duck and his pal, a mutt named Wit. They have many adventures on their property and help one another. The font is from and is weighted to “assist beginning readers and dyslexic students.” As I understand it, “… this can help the reader differentiate between letters that are sometimes confused such as p, b, d, and q; or n and u.” The artwork is adorable, and the black and white images would make a great coloring book once the book has been mastered by the student. I think this would be a very engaging early reader as there are some really fun adventures that Gus and Wit get into!

These books are a welcome addition to our collection of books. From my advanced reader down to my beginning reader, these books are a great way to work on our reading skills. We loved the stories of Patches and the adventures he brought us on, and my daughter loved that she had an actual book that she could read on her own. She has been reading this over and over again, and still laughing as much the last time as the first time she read it!

If you are looking for some fun books that will grab your readers attention, these books by Lea Beall are the books you want to grab for your home!

—Product review by Amanda Hopkins, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, July 2018