A little dog learns how to be himself.
Little Louie is a dog whose “legs [are] a bit too long, and one of his ears always point[s] up.” But despite his quirky appearance, especially compared to his three champion brothers, Louie still dreams of being a star. In fact, he is obsessed with it—dreaming of it while walking, sleeping and playing with his ball. One day while cheering on his brothers at a show, Louie inadvertently slides onto center stage with his ball and balances on top of it—something he has been unsuccessfully practicing during his playtime. Louie’s antics with the ball win him attention and applause from the crowd. Finney has a way with illustrating dogs, and her renditions of Louie give him a certain appealing liveliness. They are, however, not nearly lively enough to rescue the trite and tensionless storyline. Far too many pages are spent pointing out to readers that Louie likes playing with his ball and dreams of being a star, and these pages wallow. The overt didacticism of Louie’s realization near the end of the book that he “didn’t have to be like his brothers to be happy or to be a star” only underscores the feeble storyline.
The story and theme have been done many times before and with much more success. (Picture book. 4-8)