When Tiny fails to do any of his tricks—sit, stay, shake—his owner decides it’s time for the anything-but-tiny dog to go back to school.
The first spread sets readers up for some laughs: “Tiny is a good dog. He does what I say. / Watch.” But when the boy says, “Sit, Tiny,” the enormous dog lies on his back and looks at his pal. “Oh no!” The boy’s requests that Tiny shake and stay yield similar results. So, it’s off to Happy Dog School, which Tiny is at first reluctant to approach, until he sees all the other dogs there. (They don’t even reach his belly.) In fact, Tiny is so excited by the other dogs that he misbehaves even more. The teacher’s dog treats get Tiny in line, and he turns out to be a wonderful role model for the others. This Level 1 reader has a limited vocabulary (fewer than 55 words), and most sentences are just two or three words long, located against white backgrounds at the bottoms of the pages. The pictures are bright and colorful, helping kids decode words without telling the entire story.
Never underestimate the power of a treat to motivate. (Early reader. 4-6)