While silliness rules here, the simple vocabulary, offbeat rhyme scheme, and laughworthy images should have lap readers...


A debut picture book explores some of the myriad things that dogs don’t do.

Dogs don’t attend school or prepare their own taxes; they don’t high-five, drive, or perform gymnastics. Drenth posits a number of actions readers should know dogs don’t do, sometimes interrupting the list with things they actually do (learn, enjoy car rides, etc.). The amusing images depict the ridiculousness of what a dog might look like indulging in noncanine activities. Debut illustrator Vazquez takes each of the ideas to its funniest extreme: A floppy-eared gray terrier takes a coffee break among office cubicles, a greyhound sprays his athlete’s foot in a locker room, and a pooch wearing the name tag Buck (featuring a star) works as a cashier at a coffee shop. The majority of the activities are humanized, with dogs in costumes, but a corgi who doesn’t pick up his poop is depicted in gleeful, doggy glory while his African-American owner looks sadly at the pile he must collect. The most important thing dogs do (featured in a spread full of assorted canines and their diverse humans)? Love and “be / your loyal friend / FOREVER WITHOUT END.” Drenth’s solid rhymes often feature uneven beats, which might throw off adults reading the text-light book aloud to young children. But he also gives the rhyme scheme an intriguing syncopation for repeated reads.

While silliness rules here, the simple vocabulary, offbeat rhyme scheme, and laughworthy images should have lap readers requesting this canine tale again and again.

Pub Date: Nov. 15, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-880760-71-0

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Sunnyscene LLC

Review Posted Online: March 27, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2018

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The seemingly ageless Seeger brings back his renowned giant for another go in a tuneful tale that, like the art, is a bit sketchy, but chockful of worthy messages. Faced with yearly floods and droughts since they’ve cut down all their trees, the townsfolk decide to build a dam—but the project is stymied by a boulder that is too huge to move. Call on Abiyoyo, suggests the granddaughter of the man with the magic wand, then just “Zoop Zoop” him away again. But the rock that Abiyoyo obligingly flings aside smashes the wand. How to avoid Abiyoyo’s destruction now? Sing the monster to sleep, then make it a peaceful, tree-planting member of the community, of course. Seeger sums it up in a postscript: “every community must learn to manage its giants.” Hays, who illustrated the original (1986), creates colorful, if unfinished-looking, scenes featuring a notably multicultural human cast and a towering Cubist fantasy of a giant. The song, based on a Xhosa lullaby, still has that hard-to-resist sing-along potential, and the themes of waging peace, collective action, and the benefits of sound ecological practices are presented in ways that children will both appreciate and enjoy. (Picture book. 5-9)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-689-83271-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2001

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A book that will make young dog-owners smile in recognition and confirm dogless readers' worst suspicions about the mayhem caused by pets, even winsome ones. Sam, who bears passing resemblance to an affable golden retriever, is praised for fetching the family newspaper, and goes on to fetch every other newspaper on the block. In the next story, only the children love Sam's swimming; he is yelled at by lifeguards and fishermen alike when he splashes through every watering hole he can find. Finally, there is woe to the entire family when Sam is bored and lonely for one long night. Boland has an essential message, captured in both both story and illustrations of this Easy-to-Read: Kids and dogs belong together, especially when it's a fun-loving canine like Sam. An appealing tale. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 1, 1996

ISBN: 0-8037-1530-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1996

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