Cover image for The tale of Wagmore Gently
The tale of Wagmore Gently
Ashman, Linda.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York, N.Y. : Dutton Children's Books, [2002]

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 29 cm
Wagmore is a happy dog with a magnificent tail. This is the tale of that tail and how it first caused him trouble then later made him a hero.
Reading Level:
550 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 3.4 0.5 63509.

Reading Counts RC K-2 3.1 2 Quiz: 33576 Guided reading level: L.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

On Order



Like all dogs, Wagmore Gently can't help wagging his tail when he's happy. But Wagmore's tail is so big that one swish can clear the table, and one thump is like an earthquake! Mr. Gently warns him that if he doesn't keep his tail in check, Wagmore will have to miss the annual Trail Trekkers hike. Wagmore decides to control his tail by thinking only miserable thoughts. But it's hard to be miserable when you're on your favorite hike with your favorite boy. Just when Wagmore loses the battle with his tail, he saves the day and wins new appreciation from his family. This adventure starring an enthusiastic and lovable pooch will elicit smiles as big as Wagmore's tail.

Author Notes

Linda Ashman is the author of Can You Make a Piggy Giggle? and many other picture books.

John Bendall-Brunello recently illustrated Mouse, Mole, and the Falling Star .

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

PreS-Gr. 2. Wagmore the dog has one huge problem--a tail so long and fluffy that it has a life of its own. Wagmore doesn't mean to wreck things, but his happy, wagging tail can clear a checkerboard, crack a wall, level a pot of zinnias, and sound like an earthquake when it thumps on the floor. Mr. Gently is losing patience, and he warns the dog that he had better control his tail or else. Wagmore concentrates hard on being «master of his tail,» but on a camping trip, it's Wagmore's tail that saves the day when young Jack Gently chases a bird and tumbles over the edge of a steep hill. Now the family appreciates Wagmore's tail, which the dog puts to good use by sweeping the floor and fanning the family at the beach. Humorous illustrations capture all of the tail-wagging motion and ensuing chaos, and dialogue balloons add more fun to this amusing picture book. A particularly good choice for children who know a happy dog like Wagmore. Helen Rosenberg.

Publisher's Weekly Review

The tail wags the dog (literally), but also saves the day in this somewhat shaggy picture book about a rambunctious pup. Wagmore's large and powerful tail seems to disrupt or destroy everything in its path ("A mere twitch can wreck a game of checkers"). As a result, the Gently family scolds their perky pet and threatens to leave him behind while they go on a favorite hike. Wagmore gamely studies psychological texts and practices self-control methods, with some success ("I am Master of my Tail, and I will not wag!"), earning him permission to go on the outing. But when young Jack Gently becomes lost during the hike, Wagmore reverts to his wagging ways, facilitating Jack's rescue. Unfortunately, Ashman's (Can You Make a Piggy Giggle?) uneven fish-out-of water story doesn't sustain the charm of its punny title. Many readers will quickly sympathize with Wagmore, who is often made to feel bad about doing what comes naturally. Bendall-Brunello's (Mouse, Mole and the Falling Star) jaunty pencil-and-watercolor illustrations convey Wagmore's peppy personality and constant motion. Throughout, talk balloons and thought bubbles offer humorous asides. Ages 4-8. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 2-Like any other dog, when Wagmore Gently is happy, he wags his tail. His problem is that it is very large and bushy, so several moments of doggy joy can result in a destroyed room. Told he will not go on an upcoming hike if he can't control his offending appendage, the canine practices managing it. While on the outing, he uses his tail to save his boy, all is forgiven, and Wagmore is once again top dog in his family. Although there are a couple of moments of humor in this tale, the story is far-fetched and contrived. The illustrations are colorful, though uninspired, and Wagmore is the only well-drawn character. Susan Meddaugh's "Martha" has far more personality and charm.-Elaine Lesh Morgan, Multnomah County Library, Portland, OR (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.