Why won’t this dog behave? (Well, it may be obvious to some….)
The first and only thing on this little kid’s birthday list was a dog. However, when the dog emerges from the polka-dot gift box, it turns out to be a bad one. Rocky won’t come when she’s called. Rocky would rather play with the leash than go for a walk like good dogs. She doesn’t like other dogs, but she is a good climber (in fact, she climbs trees when other dogs are around). The eager protagonist tries to teach Rocky dog tricks, but Rocky is just not a good dog! What does Rocky like to do? Play with shoelaces, sleep in the sun, sleep on the laundry, and play in the water—of the fish tank. All that makes Rocky’s owner think that her bad dog “with black-and-white fur. Pointy ears. And a cute little nose [might] make a pretty great cat.” Boldt’s tale of a bad dog will have young audiences hollering (and giggling) at the little protagonist, who keeps insisting the obviously feline birthday present is a dog. And what cat would make a good dog? The illustrations have an animation aesthetic—the expressive child (who has olive skin and straight, black hair) and the pudgy calico are adorable—and provide all of the laughs as they slyly contradict the protagonist’s narration.
A funny little tale of pet love. (Picture book. 2-6)