There's neither bark nor bite to be found in this brief ode to a toddler favorite.
Uninspired rhymes describe individual dogs' physical appearance (shaggy, little, etc.) or their character (including stubborn, lazy or sad). Awkward phrases are expressed with a forced exuberance, unlikely to inspire any potential canine enthusiasts. “Big dog, big dog, what a giant you are. / You're almost as big as a little car!” A husky bulldog receives a portrayal that's more stereotypical than original: “Fat dog, fat dog, just look at you eat / I think you've had too many treats!” Each puppy boldly dominates its page, while visual elements (such as a bone) extend to the facing page, where the text is placed. The conclusion places a mirror in the center of a facial outline; the gushing voice encourages youngsters to imagine their similarities to the pups. Static expressions keep motions frozen in time. The uniform textual layout fails to provide enough variety to capture young children's interest, but some examples cast a knowing wink to adult pet-owners, who may recall familiar experiences (as when the hound trembles when the vacuum cleaner approaches). The feline companion (Cats! Cats!) receives the same trite treatment.
Just doggone blah. (Picture book. 1-3)