HOW TO BE A DOG by Jo Williamson


by ; illustrated by
Age Range: 4 - 7
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A charming gray-and-white dog of indeterminate breed narrates a guide to finding a home and getting along with a new owner.

The story begins with a page of hand-printed text with an illustration of the dog holding a pencil and notebook. It describes a group of dogs choosing their owners, with subtle similarities in the physical appearances of the dog-and-owner pairs. While the dogs are different in size and shape, unfortunately the human characters are all Caucasian throughout the story. The narrating dog details experiences in the home in a drolly humorous fashion, with some funny scenes of canine mischief such as sniffing at a woman’s skirt and using the actual toilet in the bathroom as part of toilet training. Loose illustrations in pencil with watercolor wash effectively use a limited palette of grays and red with contrasting pops of bright turquoise. Both story and illustrations are amusing and understated in an appealing way, capturing both the antics of a cavorting canine and its enduring love for its owner. Though originally published in England, this story has a French flair, reflected in the young owner’s red-striped sailor shirt and the dog’s jaunty red collar, as well as in the comedic sensibility.

Deceptively simple but delightfully entertaining—if ethnically one-note. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Aug. 25th, 2015
ISBN: 978-1-4998-0152-1
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Little Bee
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 2015


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