Oscar (last name: Myers) is a sweet, sensitive dachshund who is troubled by his unique appearance (""half-a-dog tall and one-and-a-half dogs long""). He looks like a hot dog and his friends never let him forget it, until Oscar's unusual physique saves the day. Raising this story above clichâ€š and bringing it poignancy is Oscar's goodness, which shines almost perpetually. When his mother makes a Halloween costume in the shape of a frankfurter, he bravely wears it even though he knows it means ridicule. He doesn't give up on his friends; in fact, this nice guy finishes first. In paintings steeped in autumn colors, puns abound and so do loony visual jokes, but the telling is simple, comical, and fast. Pilkey (Kat Kong, 1993, etc.) demonstrates his kinship to both Rosemary Wells and James Marshall with a book that has moments of high comedy, lowbrow humor, and good old-fashioned heroics.