Kirkus Reviews QR Code


Max Goes to the Dogs

by Joy Behar & illustrated by Gene Barretta

Age Range: 6 - 8

Pub Date: March 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-525-42081-1
Publisher: Dutton

Setting a new standard for superficiality, this blander-than-bland follow-up to SheetzuCacaPoopoo: My Kind of Dog (2006) sends the perky mixed-breed (part Shih Tzu, part cocker spaniel, part poodle) protagonist to doggy day care, where he organizes the cowed little dogs and then tames the aggressive big dogs with sweet reason. Written in flat prose (“Sometimes he barked and disturbed the whole neighborhood”), Behar’s predictable (not to mention psychologically unrealistic) text is paired to cutesy cartoon scenes centered on a shaggy little mutt whose anxiety about being in a new place is quickly transformed into smiling confidence as he goes nose-to-nose with a scowling bully and then at the end takes the lead in a triumphant doggy parade. Next to the exploits of other problem-solving pooches like Clifford or Susan Meddaugh’s Martha, Max’s new outing merits a quick burial in the backyard. (Picture book. 6-8)