Book Review - Dodsworth in Rome

Author/Illustrator: Tim Egan

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children
Audience:  1st to 3rd Graders (and the adults who read with them)
Source:  Check them out at your local library or your favorite Indie Bookstore
Fiction * Travel * Early Chapter Books * Friendship * Humor

Description of Dodsworth in Rome from GoodReads:
With trips to New York, Paris, and London under their belts, it’s now time for Dodsworth and the duck to visit Rome! From throwing coins into the Trevi Fountain to winning a pizza-dough-throwing contest to looking up at the Sistine Chapel ceiling, Dodsworth and his misbehaving duck take a tour of their oldest city yet. With Tim Egan’s snappy words and playful illustrations, it will surely be a spaghetti-twirling sight to see. 

My thoughts on the Series:
Would declaring my love be too strong a reaction over an early chapter book series?  Hmmm...maybe, but I will risk it.  I will confess that I started this series with the most current book, Dodsworth in Rome.  It turns out that it is helpful (though not necessary) to read them in order.  As soon as I finished Dodsworth in Rome, I started recommending the book.  I read parts of it aloud to my office manager.  I handed it to one of my students and had her read it.  Then I gave it to my niece and told her mom to read it to her.  I even went into my local indie bookstore, pulled the series off the shelf and plunked it down in front of one of the staff in the Children's Department and told her she needed to read it.  Hey, I hand sold a few copies that day in the bookstore.  Yes, I am in love with Dodsworth and his buddy the duck.  

Maybe you think this is absolutely silly, but you need to understand that there are few early chapter books that are actually enjoyable to read.  Sure there is Frog & Toad, and Mouse & Mole, but there are many that are way less memorable.  So, when I find a new series that I really enjoy, I get a little giddy over it.  

Dodsworth's adventure begins in New York (Book 1) where thanks to a crazy duck, he gets to visit all kinds of fun places in the Big Apple.  Just as he thinks he is about to return duck to his owner, then their real adventures seem to just be starting.  In Book 2, Dodsworth finds himself in Paris accompanied by his crazy friend, duck, who had great difficulty staying out of trouble.  After some humorous times in Paris, Book 3 finds the friends in London, where more hilarity ensues including a case of mistaken identity.  Though I loved the first three books, I think Book 4's adventures in Rome is still my favorite.  Silly word plays, crazy antics, and visits to famous places will have developing readers eager to read more.  Additionally, these books would make for great read alouds in 1st and 2nd grade.  

I don't know where Dodsworth and duck will end up next but I can't wait to read about it.  

Check out a couple of animated short videos by creator Tim Egan:


Check out this great blog post from Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast as he interviews Tim Egan. 

For more information about author/illustrator, Tim Egan, check out his website: