Booktalk for THE WIZARD’S DOG by Eric Kahn Gale

Nosewise is a good dog. He was rescued from the streets by the famous wizard Merlin. His master has taught him how to Sit! and Lie Down! and even Shake! But Nosewise wants to learn the tricks his pack mate Morgana knows. She’s Merlin’s young apprentice, and she can do things like shoot beams of light out of a stone. She can do real magic.

Morgana has an Asteria, a stone that focuses her power. One day during her lesson, she hangs the Asteria around Nosewise’s neck. And suddenly he can talk—with human words. It’s a fabulous trick! He’s wowed his master!

Nosewise thinks he’ll get a treat for learning this new trick so fast, but Merlin yanks the stone off the dog’s neck and shoos him out of the study. According to the old wizard, magic is not for dogs.

But Morgana doesn’t agree. After that day, she takes Nosewise out on long walks in the woods. She tells Merlin they’re out looking for potion ingredients, when in fact, she secretly brings her Asteria so Nosewise can talk to her. She gets to learn all about life as a dog, and Nosewise starts to learn magic.

It’s all great and fun and wonderful…until the day they accidentally summon a powerful fey creature. Master Merlin gets kidnapped, and Morgana disappears, too, leaving Nosewise all alone. He is devastated.

But Nosewise has the Asteria, and soon gains a new friend—Arthur. It’s time to rescue his pack.

 

Genre: fantasy

Grades 4-6.

Sequel: THE WIZARD’S DOG FETCHES THE GRAIL

Anna’s take on it:

Nosewise is a boisterously lovable canine protagonist, and kids may not realize, at first, that they’re dipping into Arthurian legend. It’s a fun place to start. My fifth and sixth grade classes were super excited about this book when I booktalked it last fall, and I plan to share it with fourth graders this spring.