A child and a dog go through their day together.
With nary an adult in sight, the 4- or 5-year-old unnamed child with messy brown pigtails takes charge, brushing the dog in a messy bathroom, feeding the dog at a little table where it wreaks havoc, dressing the canine in all sorts of outfits, and finally taking it outdoors, where the duo meets a small gold-and-brown cat. The dog gets away from its owner and merrily chases the cat through the park, until the child falls in the mud and finally catches the leash again, just in time for ice cream. With just three words in each spread and only the verb varying (“Train your dog. / Treat your dog”), the watercolor-and–colored-pencil art provides delightful details, sometimes using animation strategies to advance the action, as in the “Train your dog” spread, in which the child first glares at the dog, the dog then licks the child, the child instructs the dog, and finally, in a full-page illustration, the dog sits and wags its tail, drawn as three tails with arcing motion lines crossing them. The suburban setting is shown in soft, light pastel hues, while the big, brown dog is given texture with pencil. The minimal text works well with the maximal visual storytelling.
Beginning readers will be able to read this refreshing tale alone; younger kids will tell it from the pictures. (Picture book. 3-6)