The desert at night is a lovely place, a landscape of cool blue dunes under a galaxy of stars sparking showers onto the sand. It is in this magical landscape that Poodle the chicken and What? the beagle find themselves in Poodle and the Blue Desert Dunes, the fourth book in the Poodle series. The two friends are searching for prepositions, and this is an ideal place to start because the desert is nothing if not a brilliant example of space and time extending in all directions, and prepositions are exactly the kinds of words that describe these dimensions of existence.
But prepositions are just the beginning. Ultimately, the friends are exploring prepositional phrases. Phrases constitute Level Three of the MCT curriculum, and while there are several different kinds of phrases, prepositional phrases are a good place to start for children just embarking on their grammar journey—a journey through language that matches the pace of Poodle and What?’s journey
over the sand
across the desert
through the night
into the dawn.
Dawn? Yes, and that changes everything. The cool blue dunes only stay cool until dawn breaks, when the sun begins searing the sand and sizzling everything on it. So the friends find a cool cave, where they’re joined by their good pals Sidney the snail and Burgull the consonant monster. Dickinson the Blue Mountain monster eventually joins them as well, and it’s a good thing because there’s a new monster to contend with. (You didn’t think the desert was monster-free, did you?) It’s a monster
with a bad attitude
at the mouth
of the cave
in the heat
of the desert.
But if you know anything about our language-loving friends, then you know that they extend their friendship to everyone, no matter who. Will the new monster accept their offer? How many monsters are too many?
Maybe the mouse, the director of this fine play, has a firm opinion on that matter, and she storms onto the scene from stage right, with her new assistant Bizzie rushing behind. (Poodle understands that the assistant is busy, but he never understands that she’s Bizzie.) This is a production that will lead the characters to the end of space and time, and what happens when they get there is magical.
Note: Both the language arts concepts and the storyline of this book build upon those in the previous Poodle books. As such, the series is best read in order.
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