Tony the Theatre Dog

Puttin' On A Show

Children - Educational
44 Pages
Reviewed on 06/17/2019
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Trisha Dawn for Readers' Favorite

Tony the Theatre Dog: Puttin’ on a Show explores the world of theatre – well, specifically, what goes on backstage. Tony takes readers on a tour and introduces different important people who help run the show. While doing so, an unexpected problem unfolds before the cast and crew. Tony jumps to the rescue and all is well before the day ends This book is written by Glen Kinnaird and is illustrated by Livvy Porrill.

When I first saw Tony the Theatre Dog: Puttin’ on a Show, I was immediately attracted to it because it had two of my favorite things: dogs and theatre. I own thirteen pups and I love them like my own children. As for theatre, I have always had a fascination for this type of art ever since I was an elementary school student. Diving into the book was such a joy! Tony’s character was able to explain how each of the cast's and crew’s roles is crucial to run a successful show in the theatre. Glen Kinnaird wrote on a level that kids will not get confused and they will immediately understand what each person does in this line of work despite the complexity of his or her responsibilities. Theatre work is not for the faint of heart, after all!

There may be seriousness in the explanation but the author was still able to explain everything in a readable manner which means children will stay interested in the story. It will keep them hooked until the very end. It also helps that the illustrations by Livvy Porrill are beautiful. I don’t think children will be able to take their eyes off the book. It is just so artistic and stylish! Going even deeper, the story events were easy to digest and follow. It was also cool to learn about the inspirations behind the characters. Right after the story, there were pictures and explanations of the beautiful dogs owned by the writer himself and his family and friends. It is such an amazing book.

Jack Magnus

Tony the Theatre Dog: Puttin' On A Show is an educational animal-adventure storybook for children, grades k-3, written by Glen C. Kinnaird and illustrated by Livvy Porrill. What exactly does it take to put on a Broadway show? Tony is a theatre dog who loves putting on plays, and he is more than willing to take readers on a tour of the stage where he and Glen, his human companion, are rehearsing their new play, Give-The-Dog-A-Bone! Entering through the stage door, which is manned by Shep, the security guard, Tony shows readers around backstage, starting with the area where the band plays. He introduces them to the stage manager, costume designer, and makeup artist. And who makes the sets that let theatre-goers feel so much a part of the action? Here, it’s Stanley and Dana, the set designers who are working to give the set an Egyptian feel. But something’s wrong. No one is buying any tickets. A show needs an audience. Tony decides to discover the reason why tickets aren’t selling and to fix the situation. The show must go on!

Tony the Theatre Dog: Puttin' On A Show is a fun and informative look at theatre from the perspective of a charming dog who definitely knows his stuff. This book teaches as it entertains, and readers of all ages will come away knowing a lot more about theatre and what it takes to put on a show than they did before. Livvy Porrill’s illustrations are fabulous, and I especially loved learning about the real-life dogs who are portrayed in the story. Kinnaird’s plot also highlights the importance of accepting those who may seem different and finding ways to work together. Can scavenging rats, protesting cats, and theatrical dogs find a way to make things work? This well-written and fun book gives readers that answer. A grand selection for story time, Tony the Theatre Dog: Puttin' On A Show is also accessible for young readers to try on their own. It’s most highly recommended.

Patricia Reding

In Glen C. Kinnaird’s Tony the Theatre Dog: Puttin’ on a Show, Tony the Theatre Dog—a Maltese and Shih Tzu mixed breed dog—arrives at a theatre near Times Square, New York City. There with the help of illustrations by Livvy Porrill, Tony guides young readers on a tour backstage. From the security guard to the musicians, Tony introduces all the main players that help to bring a show together, including costume designers, makeup artists, set designers, the choreographer, and the lighting designer (who is on the catwalk hanging lights). Along the way, Tony stops to note the importance of keeping things neat and clean for the safety of the cast and crew. Tony's young guests meet Dash, the director, and Glen, Tony’s owner, who is also the playwright of the show that is about to open, namely, Give the Dog a Bone. Finally, the rehearsal begins! But not all is well, as the box office manager is having difficulty selling tickets because there is a crowd of angry cats outside, demanding the opportunity to watch the shows and even audition to perform in them. Fortunately, Tony gets everyone to work together, making opening night a huge success!

All too often, children are aware of those who perform jobs that children can see, like actors on a stage. Stories like Puttin’ on a Show help educate young ones about important things people do that go largely unseen. This is accomplished with the introduction of theatre basics for children. The critical lessons in the story include an understanding of the behind-the-scenes people who help to make a live performance come together, the importance of keeping things tidy and therefore safe for everyone, and the importance of working together with those who may differ from us. Kinnaird delivers these lessons effectively through the use of lovable animals and the colorful flavor of a Times Square Theatre, all of which Livvy Porrill’s illustrations vividly capture. Readers might also want to take time to check out the website that Glen C. Kinnaird directs them to where they will learn Tony the Theatre Dog’s real-life backstory. A charming story for young and older readers.

Amy Raines

Tony the Theatre Dog: Puttin' On A Show, written by Glen C. Kinnaird and illustrated by Livvy Porrill, is an adorable children’s story that takes kids on a tour through the backstage setup of a theatre performance with some out of the ordinary characters. As the tour of the theatre progresses, Tony discovers some messes and no one seems to know how they got there. As Tony leads his new friends through the setup and rehearsal areas, he makes a new discovery - there are no tickets selling! How are the actors and actresses going to put on a performance with no audience? Who is making all the messes? Is there a team effort that can help them move forward with the show and settle the controversy that has surfaced?

Tony the Theatre Dog: Puttin' On A Show is a wonderful children’s story with a great plot that will educate kids on how theatre performances operate behind the scenes. The characters are fun, entertaining and easy for kids to enjoy getting to know as they read. The illustrations by Livvy Porrill are bright, colorful and engaging as they help tell the story through imagery. I recommend Tony the Theatre Dog to anyone with children that love to read or be read to because the story will encourage kids to utilize teamwork to solve problems as well as allowing their imaginations to flow freely. I love that Kinnaird and Porrill have developed Tony the Theatre Dog so that kids can enjoy learning something new and discover an important lesson in life as they read.

Deepak Menon

Tony the Theatre Dog: Puttin' On A Show by Glen C. Kinnaird is a wonderfully written little tale for children, delivering a fresh perspective to open the minds of young readers to innovation and the power of showmanship. Beautifully illustrated by Livvy Porrill, this book cannot fail to grab the attention of any reader. The story is set on Broadway, the American home for theatre and drama. The very first illustration showing the facade of a theatre with little signboards and notices informing people of the next show, its timings and a prominent notice stating that felines are not allowed is most charming. A small white Maltese and Shih Tzu mixed breed dog named Tony is the main protagonist, who serves the role of guide and general inspector of the theatre. Tony welcomes some visitors into the theatre, entering through an employees-only door guarded by a big uniformed dog. The door leads into the backstage. Tony informs the visitors that backstage is where all the action happens – a world unknown to most people.

The flow of the story is superb, slowly building the complex edifice supporting the stage on which the fans see the plays and wonder at the sound effects, lighting, and appearances of the many actors! I, for one, finally realised that there is an amazing complexity in the process of staging even a simple play, and am humbled by the wonderfully thought-out story. Good editing, superb original illustrations and great research into the makings of a theatre make Tony the Theatre Dog is a most memorable book for young and old alike. The cover is attractive and invites a look inside. This book deserves 5 stars – a big story told in a few words. Well done, Glen C. Kinnaird. A delightful, well-conceived little book.