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Stay: The True Story of Ten Dogs

by Michaela Muntean
Photographed by K.C. Bailey and Stephen Kazmierski

Published by Scholastic Press, 2012
40 pages
ISBN: 978-0-545-23497-9

Ages 5-10

Luciano Anastasini didn’t want to leave the circus after a serious fall ended his career as a trapeze artist. So he developed a new act using dogs—strays and surrenders from the pound, with behavior issues that made it unlikely others would adopt them. Penny ran around in wild circles, and often into walls and furniture. Tyke had an attitude problem—he never did what he was told, and he’d bitten someone. Cocoa loved to dig . . . and dig . . . and dig. Luciano worked hard to understand the dogs, cleverly turning what others had seen as misbehaviors into building blocks for the act by meeting each animal on its own terms. Once Luciano taught cross-eyed Penny to understand which objects she saw were the real thing, she was jumping through hoops; Cocoa—full of abundant energy--literally ran circles around the ring; and Tyke, that master of defiance, was getting laughs for his refusal to follow the rules—he did things backwards. Luciano’s love and respect for animals is fierce and heartening as revealed in this inspired photo-documentary about how he and his ten “Pound Puppies” came together and became big top stars. Eye-catching color photos accompany the lively narrative. (MS) ©2012 Cooperative Children’s Book Center

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