"Wolven" by Di Toft; ChickenHouse ($16.99).

A British author crams everything into this exciting and entertaining novel: your basic boy and his dog story, time travel, shape-shifters, werewolves, a witch or two, a nasty neighborhood bully and evil government scientists.

Nat Carver wants a dog but he's not sure the strange-looking beast his grandfather brings home one day is the dog of his dreams. Woody is an ugly dog. He smells terrible. He has weird eyes. And strangely, Woody can seem to read Nat's thoughts.

There's more to Woody than Nat can know, and the adventure of who Woody is and why an evil half-werewolf scientist is after him makes for a very thrilling read.

Toft is a very funny writer and she brings to vivid life this marvelous adventure.

-- Jean Westmoore



The eighth annual Park Pirate Fest will return from 4 to 9 p.m. Saturday to Penn Dixie Paleontological and Outdoor Education Center in Hamburg. Dig for pirate bones, see medieval weaponry demonstrations, take a hay ride or view the skies. Cost is $6 for nonmembers/$5 for members; children under 2 are free. For more information, call 627-4560 or visit



If you can combine your imagination with your love for peanut butter, you might have a ticket to college. In the ninth annual Jif Most Creative Peanut Butter Sandwich, the grand-prize winner takes home a $25,000 college scholarship, and four other winners each receive $2,500 in scholarship funds. Download an entry form at or, if entering in Spanish, visit Here's last year's winning recipe from 10-year-old Rachel Granillo of Clovis, Calif.

Let us rap

1/2 cup chopped cooked chicken breast

2 tablespoons Jif Extra Crunchy Peanut Butter

3 tablespoons chopped Fuji apple

2 tablespoons chopped black or red grapes

1 tablespoon light mayonnaise

2 teaspoons honey

2 iceberg lettuce leaves

Chop chicken meat and fruit; mix in bowl.

Mix in peanut butter, mayonnaise and honey.

Spoon into open lettuce leaf, roll and serve.

-- McClatchy Newspapers