A troublemaking pooch describes his family life in this debut picture book.
Told in first-person diary format, Thor, an incorrigible French bulldog, writes down details about his family. “My mommy Dania is the boss of the house,” Thor asserts, confessing that though his lawyer mother likes the house spotless when she leaves for work, he’s usually the one who later creates a mess. Mommy Eva, a brain surgeon, lets Thor get away with mischief, in part because her shifts at the hospital keep her away for days at a time. Toddler Elijah hasn’t quite hit the developmental milestones Thor thinks a puppy his age should have. And Thor is annoyed by Frigga the cat. Their color and size are so similar that people mistake poor Thor for a feline. Thor’s feelings that he’s misunderstood and underappreciated by the world come through clearly in Yessoufou’s clever, put-upon monologue, and her accessible vocabulary invites newly independent readers to feel at home in the neighborhood. The author effectively presents an underrepresented family group: two mothers of mixed ethnicity, both of whom have high-powered careers. In this series opener, debut illustrator Molina’s manga-style linework is made more painterly through her shading, particularly in portraits of Thor. The canine’s sweetly innocent face goes a long way toward encouraging readers to forgive his misbehavior.
An engaging family snapshot that will spur readers to look for further installments.