When a boy named Sam goes to the animal shelter to adopt a dog he gets a lot more than a common canine. Randolph Coyote the Third and his teddy bear pal, Bobbie Bear, have remarkable abilities that enable them to take Sam through flashes, portals to other realms, on a quest to solve Sam’s greatest problem: an imagination that makes everything scary.
The worlds they visit are even more amazing than anything Sam could have fantasized. On their funny and exciting journey they encounter a dangerous pirate, a punishing storm, and the world’s most powerful and evil sorcerer. They also meet the Grumpy Old Man, who terrifies Sam but gives him the advice he needs to solve his problem.
Sam’s travels not only change him but open him up to new opportunities, and provide the reader with an intriguing new perspective on the universe.
Scary Meter: #2 = A Bit Scary. A balance of scary monsters & reassuring messages, with a happy ending.
“Reality is more unbelievable than fantasy in this fast-paced debut children’s novel. Sam, a young writer with an active imagination, is frightened of his own shadow. Rather than play with neighborhood children, he escapes to the world created in his stories—a world where, like his favorite character Danger Dog, Sam is brave. But when his father takes Sam to purchase his first real dog, he meets two friends who show him he possesses the same courage he bestows upon his characters. Randolph Coyote the Third, a talking, flying dog, and Bobbie Bear, a sarcastic teddy bear, are accidental tourists from a faraway land. Sam convinces dad to take a chance on this odd-looking pair and rescues them from the pound. Once home, Randolph and Bobby take Sam on an otherworldly adventure, through portals called Flashes, where he is charged with freeing pirate captains Pump and Kin from the spell of evil Mr. Bland. Sam’s real-life adventures come to top those even his crafty mind can imagine. He learns that the real world isn’t such a bad place after all.”