HOG AND DOG by Diane Wright Landolf


Age Range: 4 - 8
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Two friends play a variety of games, have a falling-out and make up over ping-pong in this earliest of readers. Rarely exceeding four words to the spread, the text, such as it is, is made up of terse phrases that sometimes achieve the status of sentence. Rhyming is a key feature—hence the introduction of the almost certainly new vocabulary word, “Hog,” to name the pink critter most readers will recognize as “Pig”—a phonics technique that sits pedagogically well with the audience. Harris’s bright and cheery illustrations work hard to extend the minimalist text, depicting “Ball hog” as he maneuvers on the soccer field and “Tall dog” in a slam-dunk. There is little nuance available, however; the characters either grin vacantly or frown sadly, after Hog catches Dog cheating at hide-and-seek, creating a rift in the friendship. The whole is agreeable enough, and certainly serviceable, but lacks the sly humor, character development and narrative strength of David Milgrim’s Otto and Pip stories—an argument, perhaps, for purchasing extra copies of these latter-day masterpieces and bypassing this offering. (Easy reader. 4-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 22nd, 2005
ISBN: 0-375-83165-7
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Random House
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1st, 2005