"SIT, TRUMAN!" by Dan Harper


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The Moser father-and-daughter illustration team collaborates again with author Harper (Cara's husband) on their second family effort inspired by a beloved family pet (Telling Time with Big Mama Cat, 1998). In this uncomplicated, episodic story, Truman is a huge, drooling Mastiff who rules the household. He lives with his tiny canine companion, Oscar, and their kind but rather ineffectual male owner, an anonymous grownup whose face is never seen in the illustrations. The owner's commands (and pleadings) make up the short text, with the owner urging Truman to sit, share with Oscar, go for a walk, and get out of the owner's bed. Large watercolor illustrations and the oversized format show Truman and Oscar in lots of playful or amusing situations, but there really isn't much of a plot beyond Truman's drooling and his disinclination to obey his owner. But don't underestimate the drawing power of simple stories about large dogs, as this combination seems to have endless appeal to young children. The final words in the story—"Good boy, Truman"—bring to mind another large, dark dog that did quite well with his own series of books with minimalist plots. Sit, Carl. Quiet, Clifford. Move over, Mudge. Make room for Truman. (Picture book. 3-6)

ISBN: 015205068X
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Harcourt