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Mary Casanova - Books for Young People
One-Dog Sleigh by Mary Casanova and Ard Hoyt
One-Dog Sleigh
written by Mary Casanova
illus. by Ard Hoyt
Farrar Straus & Giroux, 2013
(HC) 978-0374356392
One Dog Sleigh from Autographed books!
One-Dog Sleigh

Artwork from One-Dog Sleigh by Mary Casanova and Ard Hoyt

I hitched up my pony to my little red sleigh. My dog pranced and danced. “I want to play!” “You bet,” I said, “just me and you in a one-dog sleigh.”

Harness bells jing-jing-jingle under branches frosted white, but is there enough room for everyone when squirrel, owl, lynx, and other forest animals ask to play?

On the ten-year anniversary of One-Dog Canoe, the author-illustrator team of Mary Casanova and Ard Hoyt have created a winter version of their popular picture book. Filled with lyrical text, bouncy rhythm, and whimsical illustrations, this is one heart-warming and adventurous sleigh ride you won’t want to miss. Bundle up and climb aboard!

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Reviews and Comments
Children intrigued by the idea of a ride in a “one-horse open sleigh” will enjoy this humorous story of a girl and her dog experiencing an old-fashioned mode of winter transportation. Casanova and Hoyt team up again for this sequel to their One-Dog Canoe (2003), with the same little girl narrator and her perky dog again trying to enjoy an outdoor adventure together. Following the same cumulative structure as the first story, a cast of animal characters appears sequentially in the snowy forest, and one by one they crowd into the overloaded sleigh. They encounter a blizzard, the crowded sleigh hits a bump, and "SWOOSH-A-BANG THUMP!": All the critters fly through the air into a snow bank, but they recover and play under the twinkling stars before waving "goodbye / on a crisp winter night." This one has it all: rhyme, rhythm, repetition, humor and a satisfying ending, as girl and dog head back to the warm, brightly lit barn. Charming watercolor-and-ink illustrations provide a variety of perspectives and captivating personalities for the forest-animal friends. Here's hoping for more transportation-themed adventures from this daring (and endearing) duo.
—Kirkus Reviews

This tale has plenty of repetition, action verbs, and onomatopoeia and is well suited for reading aloud. Emerging readers will also appreciate occasional rhymes, clear text in short sentences, and appealing illustrations full of picture clues.
—School Library Journal

It’s supposed to be a one-dog sleigh. Emphasis on one. But when a girl and her small pooch set off in a plush red sleigh, drawn by a single pony, it’s not long before other creatures want in on the ride. First there’s a squirrel who hops aboard with a “LEAP” and a “SPIN,” making it a “one-squirrel, one-dog sleigh.” But then an owl joins, followed by a massive lynx, and then a humongous deer, who lands with a “CLATTER of hoofed feet.” By this point, it’s tight quarters. When a blizzard halts movement, the animals need to debark and push. Once all is right again, the sleigh is off and running—until the crew hits a bump, and “SWOOSH-A-BANG THUMP,” everyone goes flying. Full of great sound effects, the companion to One-Dog Canoe (2003) offers up a rollicking adventure of the winter variety this time. Hoyt’s whimsical illustrations capture the hilarity of the situation, particularly in facial expressions, as girl and dog and owl and—you get the picture—hang on for dear life. Share at winter-themed story hours.
—Ann Kelley, Booklist

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