“Be careful what you wish for” is just one of the messages in this humorous book about switching places.
Charlie is tired of school and all the letter practice and picture drawing. His dog, Norman, doesn’t have to go to school. Charlie wishes on a star to be a dog, and the next morning, he and Norman have switched places. While the dog rushes off to school to enjoy writing, playing kickball and making clay sculptures, Charlie lies back, relishing the opportunity to get some extra sleep and watch the leaves fall. But as the week goes on, both Norman and Charlie begin to see the drawbacks of the new arrangement. Norman gets in trouble for his chewing habit and must listen to a story about cats. Charlie drinks out of the toilet and gets locked outside in the cold. One wish-upon-a-star later, Charlie couldn’t be happier to wake up in his own bed and be going back to school. Biggs’ illustrations, done in a bright palette of aqua, olive, purple, mustard, red and orange, are hysterical, as the two swap places but not bodies: The boy acts like a dog and vice versa. And while the people’s faces manage to convey emotion with just a tiny mouth and dot eyes, Norman’s droll expression never changes, adding to the farcical nature of the tale.
The conclusion kids might draw? Going to school isn’t nearly as bad as being a dog. (Picture book. 5-8)