Teddy the dog decides to compete in a dog show.
Teddy thinks very highly of himself (“I’ve always been a dashing dog”), so he knows he’ll be a natural in the Strut Your Mutt dog show. He fills out the entry form and prepares to travel. While the art accurately reflects what the text tells, it does little to move the action forward or tell a story the text does not. Teddy doesn’t want to travel with luggage via plane (sad animals in crates make for a teachable moment about the inhumane treatment of animals in planes), instead taking the ChauFUR Express. Sneider incorporates some clever jokes into his illustrations, some apparently aimed more at adults than children: “Weight? A dog never tells!” reads Teddy’s completed entry form. Upon arrival, the sunglasses-sporting Teddy is lauded by all, though why he deserves their attention is never entirely clear. Strangely, Teddy—who usually displays human tendencies—is suddenly all dog, jumping on the judge…and getting disqualified. The book ends with a moral: “we’re all best in our own show.” This story seems unsure of its purpose—the moral implies it’s a morality tale, but it seems entirely undeserved. Teddy’s always had confidence; had his lack of special talents been an issue earlier, it may have made more sense.
Readers may find themselves scratching their heads. (Picture book. 4-7)