Giggle-inducing shenanigans ensue when two loyal dogs hatch a plan to save their human boy from school.
Waldo loves food, Sassy loves naps, and they both love Stewart and want to rescue him from that horrible, boring place called school, which makes Stewart smell like “a weird mixture of boredom and anxiety.” The intrepid pooches commence with an operation they code name Pepperoni. Under the titular trench coat, they disguise themselves as a human to infiltrate Bea Arthur Memorial Elementary School. Bulldog Sassy forms the bottom half, while terrier Waldo, who can speak Human, stands on her shoulders. As new student Salty Woofadogington from Liver, Ohio, the dogs discover that school is great: They get to eat sloppy Joes, play Frisbee, and sing (read: howl) in music class. They fool everyone except Stewart, who’s lucky Waldo and Sassy love school; he doesn’t even have a topic for a project that’s due tomorrow. Waldo and Sassy fly into action. They have the perfect subject: squirrels—dogs are squirrel experts, after all. The boisterous third-person narration plays with typography: All the dogs’ favorite foods (just about every possible comestible, including carrots) are in bold text, while Waldo’s dialogue as Salty is in a faux typewritten face. The tale is further enlivened by the cartoonish black-and-white illustrations, which depict Stewart with paper-white skin, but some secondary characters have dark skin, notably Salty’s teacher, Ms. Twohey, who is not entirely convinced by her new student.
For readers who appreciate the goofy. (Fantasy. 7-12)