Dogs are the most popular pets in America, so there will always be a place for fun books about dogs, especially in the children’s picture book marketplace. But what can be said about dogs that hasn’t already been said in a hundred other picture books? How can author Mark Drenth come up with something that is truly a fresh take on this topic? This book looks at what a dog’s most important job is for those who have dogs in their lives by first pointing out the myriad of things dogs don’t do. It’s a fun way for children to learn to examine an issue. If one takes away all the things — often important things — that a dog doesn’t do, what can be left? That is the point of the book. And getting there is a pretty fun journey. There is a whole lot of silliness involved — something kids simply find delightful in books. No kids would ever think about a dog filing taxes nor would they think of dogs working on the parallel bars in a gymnastics tournament nor would they come up with the idea of a dog cleaning a chimney or cleaning up its own poop. (Anytime a children’s book author can find a reason to put the word “poop” in a book, it will ensure gales of laughter on the part of kids, so it’s always a good idea.) Drenth has discussed all these many things dogs don’t do and more in rhyme and near-rhyme lines, although the lines are far from having a strict metrical structure. If the text were written with a stronger rhythm, it would be a stronger book.
As with most picture books, the illustrations are often the real strength. That is no exception in this book. Illustrator Sergio Vazquez has certainly brought a sense of quirky fun and silliness to the edge-to-edge illustrations here. The extraordinary amount of detail in the background of each illustration will have youngsters searching every page and finding giggles everywhere. The dogs all have a lot of personality — each and every one very distinct. Googly eyes, lolling tongues, scraggly fur, ridiculous expressions, teeth and slobber galore become de rigueur in this slender tome. All of the illustrations completely support the text rhyme by rhyme. The marriage of Drenth’s poetry with the marvelously silly illustrations by Vazquez makes for a rollicking good time for kids. This book will be dog-gone popular with the littlest of dog lovers.
|Page Count||28 pages|
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