I set off one morning in my little red canoe.
My dog wagged his tail.
“Can I come, too?”
“You bet,” I said.
“A trip for two―just me and you.”
When a girl and her dog set out on a canoe trip together, they’re expecting a quiet afternoon for two. Then a beaver decides to join them, even when the girl protests that “It’s a one-dog canoe.” And when a loon, and a wolf, and a bear, and a moose all ask for a ride, it’s almost too much. But they all manage to fit in this one-dog canoe―until a frog comes along. . . .
When the impish blonde heroine of Mary Casanova’s One-Dog Canoe sets out for a paddle around the lake, she intends to have just one animal along for the ride: her dog. The two canoe companionably for a time, gliding past pine trees, ducks, fish, and frogs. Then a beaver on the bank asks if he can join them. The girl protests politely–“It’s a one-dog canoe”–but the beaver scrambles in anyway and finds a seat comfortably near the picnic basket. The girl’s credibility is lost. Soon the three are joined by a loon, a wolf, a bear, and a moose, and finally a frog hoping for a dry ride.
Casanova’s rhythmic rhymes and onomatopoeic sound effects (“Swoosh-a-bang flop!” as the canoe finally capsizes) add charm to the familiar story pattern, and the lengthening refrain “It’s a one-moose, one-bear, one-wolf, one-loon, one-beaver, one-dog canoe!” will be fun for children to chant. Ard Hoyt’s winning pencil and watercolor illustrations bring all the characters to life. The look of satisfaction on the beaver’s face when he first sits down and the girl’s growing indignation and alarm are especially giggle-worthy. (Ages 4 to 8) –Jennifer Lindsay