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HOT DIGGITY DOG by Adrienne Sylver


The History of the Hot Dog

by Adrienne Sylver & illustrated by Elwood H. Smith

Age Range: 5 - 8

Pub Date: May 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-525-47897-3
Publisher: Dutton

How did hot dogs become so popular? asks Sylver in this popular history of the wiener. Well, it sure wasn’t because folks watched how the frankfurter was made—egads!—but two words do come to mind: salt and fat. The author does note that, but she is more inclined to delve into the dog’s history—it may well be the hoariest of junk foods; Homer knew about sausages and slipped them into the Odyssey—and explore their cultural relevance, from Everyman’s quick, cheap, Depression-proof meal, to being knit into the fabric of baseball stadiums across the land. Accompanied by Smith’s handsomely goofy, retro artwork, the narrative offers sidebars with factual tidbits galore—Frankfurt, Germany, celebrated the frankfurter’s 500th birthday in 1987; the origins of Nathan’s Famous and the Oscar Meyer Wienermobile; Humphrey Bogart telling it like it is: “A hot dog at the ball park is better than a steak at the Ritz”—which entertainingly meld to give the hot dog specific character. Attention is also paid to condiments: Mustard was used to treat Roman battle wounds and bathe sausages, though not at the same time. (websites, further resources, bibliography) (Informational picture book. 5-8)