An irrepressible dog can’t resist falling into the same type of mischief over and over again, until something surprising changes his pattern.
This small, wiggly pup bounces upward as a silhouetted woman enters the animal shelter. He longs for a home “warm as soup / and cozy as pie,” full of nose kisses and tummy rubs. And oh, how exciting—the woman takes him home! “That very day, / Shoe Dog chewed through / five high heels, / four flip-flops, / three sneakers, / two boots, / one wing tip.” Scolding—“ ‘BAD DOG!’ / She, Herself said”—and punishment—no petting or access to the Big Bed—see him lying forlornly in a gray-blue space, subdued. But each time new shoes arrive, he tracks down and rips into the fresh box, chomping every shoe with gusto. Consequences ratchet up mildly, but Shoe Dog never learns impulse control as such; instead, unexpectedly, he meets a shoe he’d never, ever chew. Finally he’s welcome “on the Big Bed / in the Land of Upstairs,” curling up blissfully with his new shoe-love. Tillotson uses thick black lines for Shoe Dog’s scribbly, coiled-spring body, smudging charcoal inside his shape to give him substance; scraps of pink and beige mark his pointy ears and muzzle. Motion lines show how he scampers and bounds. The visual angle varies, and shoe-box tissue paper flies through the air.
Totally ebullient. (Picture book. 3-7)