In this debut illustrated children’s book, an enthusiastic canine shows how much he savors life through his vigorous tail-wagging.
Jack is a medium-sized, blue-and-white dog with a long snout, pointy ears, a red tongue—and a very expressive tail. He lives with a white family that includes a father and mother plus little blonde Suzy and brown-haired Johnny. Jack embraces every part of his routine, beginning with waking up Johnny and getting fed: “It’s my favorite time of day!” He adores playing ball with Johnny and, though sitting still for a portrait by Suzy isn’t as much fun, Jack whacks his tail at the thought of a game of tag afterward. He also relishes running with the kids as they ride their bikes, getting head pats from Daddy, taking part in the kids’ playtime, protecting Mommy from a threatening mailman, going on walks, hoping for barbecue handouts, and even getting a bath—“my favorite thing!” Although Jack constantly knocks things over with his ever wagging tail, no one seems to mind. At the day’s end, everyone says good night to Jack. He loves all the members of his family, and they love him. In his book, Rouillard tells a sweet, happy story. In truth, Jack’s energetic tail-wagging can be something of a nuisance: items that go flying include a cellphone, a water glass, a T-ball bat (which hits Johnny on the head), everything in the garage, a bowl of chips, and many toys. In the real world, something or someone could get damaged. In addition, caretakers should never allow a dog to menace delivery people (and why, if he’s protecting Mommy, would Jack still be wagging his tail?). Nevertheless, the work captures just how much a beloved pet becomes part of the family and the infectious nature of a content dog’s joyfulness. Illustrator Burk (I Am a Truffle Dog, 2013) provides softly shaded, full-color pictures showing the often chaotic effects of Jack’s whack, whack, whacking tail.
An affectionate, enjoyable look at a cheerful, well-loved, and somewhat destructive dog.