This energetic picture book pits a hot dog’s rudimentary survival instinct against appetites both human and canine.
“Hello, Hot Dog,” greets the omniscient narrator. “HELLO!” says the hot dog, eyes wide in manic glee. It’s happily “chillin’ out on this comfy bread, with some corn and a couple of fries” until an approaching ketchup bottle indicates its fate as lunch. First the hot dog comes up with a seven-part plan to escape, involving a triple backflip and a napkin MacGyver-ed into a parachute. Unfortunately, hot dogs lack the necessary physical dexterity, but after a brief flirtation with surrender it heroically rolls out of the bun. It’s a daring escape, almost thwarted at the last minute by a hungry dog—luckily for our delicious hero, this dog doesn’t like mustard. The illustrations are bright and blocky and reminiscent of a sunny picnic afternoon, easily shifting from a tight close-up of a terrified sausage to a hand’s ominous shadow, and the text alternates between sedate type and scrawled dialogue. The hot dog’s expressions are a pure delight on their own.
Offering endless possibilities for different voices and performance styles, this book is a surefire hit to read aloud, with hilarity, suspense, and pathos perfect for children developing responses to these stimuli. (Picture book. 3-7)