A determined dog’s emotions run the gamut while in pursuit of the impossible-to-resist “treat.”
Waking to an undefined scent, a pudgy pooch follows its nose to a little girl nibbling some cereal. Expecting she will share, it watches her toss the last O-shaped morsel into her mouth, announcing, “treat.” Finding another child eating a hotdog, the dog rolls onto its back to attract attention, but she ignores the exposed tummy. Equally disappointed in the treat quest by a boy drawing, a woman sleeping, and a man brushing his teeth, the desperate dog fails to swipe the baby’s bottle and despairs after finding its dish filled with inedible toys. Dejected, the dog naps, haunted by surreal dreams of treats, awakening to more cries of “treat.” Is this another false lead or the real deal? As in Ball (2013), Sullivan spins a hilarious minidrama around a hyperactive canine and a single word of text. Here, “treat” appears and reappears on nearly every page or frame in a word bubble above the dog’s head or one of the children’s. Along with exaggerated facial expressions and body language, variations in punctuation, typeface, and size convey the dog’s changing moods. Its family appears to be African-American and includes grandparents as well as the appealing passel of tots. Cartoonlike illustrations, precisely drawn in digitally colored pencil, perfectly capture the portly, perky-eared, wide-eyed canine’s treat mania.
A relentless, single-minded canine’s quest proves to be a rib-tickling treat. (Picture book. 4-7)