Larry: The King of Rock and Roll

Larry: The King of Rock and Roll by Iris Ranier Dart

Larry is a little fluffy white Maltese with a big talent.  Not only can he talk, but he can sing and compose music!   When Cathy’s dad hits a rough patch and just can’t finish his song, Larry steps in to help.  Soon they are a nationwide phenomenon.  Trouble is, Larry wants the spotlight all to himself, which doesn’t exactly endear him to his family, or the readers of this book.  Oh, of course everything ends all happily ever after, but there’s a really looong stretch of the book where Larry is pretty much an intolerable boor.

This book has always been a hit with my third graders. They speak hyperbolically, using words like AWESOME! to describe it.  I just can’t muster similar enthusiasm. When a music executive sits down and tells a potential client “Your act rules” I groaned.  I also realized the problem.  The book reads like it was written by a third grader.   In addition to being really irritated with Larry, I wasn’t thrilled with the portrayal of divorce, which just didn’t seem realistic.

Sex, Nudity, Dating –  Cathy had a crush on a boy.  A girl dog tries to get Larry’s attention and really likes him.
Profanity – We’re told a girl says bad words.  Larry covered his ears.  “darned”  used multiple times, “jeez,”  “stupid,” “wuss,” “heck,” “dork,” “screwed up,” “moron,”
Death, Violence and Gore – Larry wants to bite someone.  Larry receives some threatening letters.
Drugs, Alcohol and Smoking – At the White House people hold wineglasses.
Frightening or Intense Things – None.

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