Normal puppies do everything wrong" . . . so "you've got to Love! Love! Love!" That, in toto, is the import of these nutshell-sized comic frames in which two squawling kids and a hand-wringing shaggy creature in a lavender cowl try to come to terms with one puppy's normally active bowels and bladder. Pup's expulsion from West Pointer Academy (he's underage) and the boy and gift's dreams of idealized dogdom are flashes of Sendakian imagination, but too many frames simply show the characters standing around exchanging recriminations ("How about wetting? Call that normal?" . . . "This guy puts up with anything!" . . . "Typical parents!") while the hapless pup goes, literally, about his business. The question, paraphrased, is "have you stopped beating your dog?" though we bet that even kids who'd never consider kicking Fido might figure that twelve weeks is a long time to wait before starting training. Granted, Sendak choreographs his potato-faced performers and poop humor with his accustomed panache and affection, but it's still just a dressed up lecture-from an expert (Margolis) whose approach we find questionable. Much as one admires Sendak's ability to be up front aboug dog do, it don't make much of a book.

Pub Date: June 1, 1976

ISBN: 0374469636

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Oct. 18, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 1976

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Playful, engaging, and full of opportunities for empathy—a raucous storytime hit.


From the There’s a…in Your Book series

Readers try to dislodge a monster from the pages of this emotive and interactive read-aloud.

“OH NO!” the story starts. “There’s a monster in your book!” The blue, round-headed monster with pink horns and a pink-tipped tail can be seen cheerfully munching on the opening page. “Let’s try to get him out,” declares the narrator. Readers are encouraged to shake, tilt, and spin the book around, while the monster careens around an empty background looking scared and lost. Viewers are exhorted to tickle the monster’s feet, blow on the page, and make a really loud noise. Finally, shockingly, it works: “Now he’s in your room!” But clearly a monster in your book is safer than a monster in your room, so he’s coaxed back into the illustrations and lulled to sleep, curled up under one page and cuddling a bit of another like a child with their blankie. The monster’s entirely cute appearance and clear emotional reactions to his treatment add to the interactive aspect, and some young readers might even resist the instructions to avoid hurting their new pal. Children will be brought along on the monster’s journey, going from excited, noisy, and wiggly to calm and steady (one can hope).

Playful, engaging, and full of opportunities for empathy—a raucous storytime hit. (Picture book. 2-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 5, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-5247-6456-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: June 5, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2017

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This companion piece to the other fairy tales Marcia Brown has interpreted (see Puss In Boots, 1952, p. 548 and others) has the smoothness of a good translation and a unique charm to her feathery light pictures. The pictures have been done in sunset colors and the spreads on each page as they illustrate the story have the cumulative effect of soft cloud banks. Gentle.

Pub Date: June 15, 1954

ISBN: 0684126761

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: Oct. 26, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1954

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