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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, March 7, 2010

Latest Calvin Coconut installment a charmer

By Jolie Jean Cotton
Special to The Advertiser

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser
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By Graham Salisbury; illustrated by Jacqueline Rogers

Wendy Lamb Books; ages 7-10

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The latest book in the Calvin Coconut series by Hawai'i children's author Graham Salisbury is a delight for young readers and adults.

The third installment of the national series, titled "Dog Heaven," has the charming and mischievous Calvin tackling a persuasive writing assignment. His fourth-grade teacher, Mr. Purdy, asks the students to write a paper to answer the question, "What do you want so badly you can taste it?"

Calvin? He wants a dog.

Readers get to follow along as the thought process unfolds for Calvin's writing. In chapter eight, Calvin is sitting on his bed:

"Hey... I banged my forehead with the palm of my hand. Duh... this isn't for real. I can write whatever I want.

I want a dog! (in Calvin's hand writing)

I erased the exclamation point. Too much

(Again, in Calvin's writing) I want a dog, because I love dogs... except I probably don't want a hunting dog. Dogs like people. Cats mostly don't, except for Maya's cat, Zippy. Zippy is cool. But dogs are better.

It was a start. Not a very good one, but I could make it better later. What next?

(In Calvin's writing again) I want a dog that can keep up with my bike.

I erased it.

I want a dog that likes to run.

Erased that too."

Calvin has a lot more work to do on his paper, because odds are against convincing his mother he should have a dog. Lucky local readers will have a blast tooling around the island with Calvin and his friends in this enchanting true-to-life story.

Jolie Jean Cotton is a Hono--lulu freelance writer. Her reviews of children's books appear here on the first Sunday of the month.