For boys, at least, some things haven’t changed since the Stone Age.
Caveboy Trog has the best toys—a stick, a rock, a patch of mud—but they’re all instant (pre-) history when he comes upon a crocodilian “PUPPY!” and drags it home by its red-and-green–striped tail. “GOOD PUPPY!” he shouts, even when the new arrival chows down on the (stone) sofa and bed, eats the (stone) dinnerware as well as everyone’s dinner, and makes “a boo boo” on the floor (“ BAD POOPY!” chorus his less-than-enthusiastic parents). The puppy, however, does not share Trog’s joy in its new home and mopes (when it’s not eating). Despite Trog’s best efforts to distract his buddy, the puppy cries. Why? Trog finally gets a clue when a humongous version of the puppy arrives to carry its unhappy offspring back to the swamp. No more tears! Has Trog learned a lesson? Not hardly, as he’s last seen racing home with a grip on the tail of an annoyed, elephant-sized (wait for it) “KITTY!” Graves presents the tale in big, sequential panels of simply drawn cartoons, with dialogue in balloons and sound effects as outsized as Trog’s not-exactly-domesticated companions. Trog is depicted with white skin, an impressive mop of blond hair, and a one-armed fur onesie.
Not so different from having a “puppy” of the canine sort. Except for the stripes. And the impressive teeth. (Picture book. 6-8)