October 8th 2013 by HarperCollins
In this sequel to Stick Dog, our eponymous hero and his friends are back, this time in search of frankfurters rather than hamburgers. Finding a hot dog vendor in the park, the friends come up with various schemes to distract Pete from his cart so that they can grab hot dogs and run. These plans include making Pete jealous by eating lots of hamburgers in front of him, flying a helicopter over the cart, and having Karen, a dachshund, pretend to be a giant hot dog. The group also runs into a band of wily racoons on the same mission. When Karen is accidentally put into a basket of laundry and taken inside, the friends change their mission to freeing her from the clutches of a man who does a bizarre mating dance and then runs inside his own house. Luckily, Karen is able to jump from a window and the group is able to focus on the matter at hand: obtaining hot dogs. The real cliff hanger: will they succeed?
Strengths: This was slightly more amusing than the first book; I laughed several times. The racoons were rather amusing. I wish that people who are buying books for second graders would buy this series instead of the Wimpy Kid books, since those really do cover more middle school issues.
Weaknesses: I read this on the same night I read the 5th Zombie Chasers book and a ghost written sports book. I am by no means a literature snob, but the convergence of the three of these made me weep for humanity just a tiny bit. Children will love these. There's something about adding poorly drawn pictures to anything that makes some children want to read a book. Seriously. Mr. Watson should look into illustrating Huckleberry Finn, The Scarlet Letter, or some of the other musty chestnuts that literature teachers seem to feel a need to cram in their entirety down poor high schoolers' throats. (N.B. To Ms. S-K: Picky Reader has NOT been complaining. The opinions expressed are purely my own. )
There's got to be a middle ground, people. We need to find it between To Kill a Mockingbird and Stan and the Toilet Monster.