A playful story about familial pride and unconditional love.
An anthropomorphic dog in a tweed sports coat tells his child, who wears a sweater and a cap, about family members as they look at a family portrait gallery. Each spread with a portrait has the father recounting a great accomplishment on a turquoise-backgrounded verso. Then the recto opens as a gatefold to reveal a picture of the relative that humorously undermines that account. For example, a uniformed bulldog was “the pride of the police,” but the underlying gatefold illustration reveals the police dog to be oblivious to three black-clad robber dogs absconding with their loot behind him. The child, presumably unaware of those contradictory backstories, interjects to ask, “What about me?” The father responds with the titular phrase: “You will be a GREAT dog!” In the final exchange, however, the father amends his statement in a concluding gatefold that finds the cap falling off to reveal cat ears. “You will be a great dog, a magnificent dog… / Or a great CAT. It’s up to you!” The message of unconditional love reveals the father as a great dad, but readers may wonder why the child was concealing their feline self until this moment. The illustrations feature a strong sense of line and pattern, with hints of turquoise, gold, and brown popping against white backgrounds.
Playful design contributes to the success of this warmhearted book. (Picture book. 3-7)