Stanley’s curiosity this time leads him to find out what all the kids do in school every day.
Tired of being left outside all the time, Stanley, Gassy Jack, Alice, and Nutsy (each dog’s personality masterfully captured by Slavin) team up to take on the school. They figure out how to open the huge door, conquer their fears of the school’s great size, and then glory in its delights—the lunches, the kids, running through the hallways and all kinds of places familiar to students everywhere—until they run into a room with no exit and the “toppest dog” of all: the principal (depicted as a no-nonsense black woman). But the fierce-looking administrator just pats the dogs’ heads kindly and then orders them out the door. And the following day, the four friends (and all the dogs they’ve blabbed to) are waiting when the school doors open at the end of the day—because kids are almost as much fun as dogs, and school isn’t far behind. Slavin’s illustrations are a delight, from the dogs’ revels and the kids’ excitement to the postures and facial expressions of the dogs as they await the principal’s judgment. The kids are depicted with a range of skin colors and hair textures, and at least one child is in a wheelchair.
Here’s hoping readers feel the same way about school as Stanley does; even if they don’t, though, they are sure to laugh at the dogs’ adventures. Where will they end up next? (Picture book. 4-8)