Bits and bites about our canine co-dependents, from lore to behavior, breeds, and care.
Loosely following a Q&A format, zoologist Crumpton scatters blocks of pithy comments about why dogs do what they do on broadly thematic spreads amid winsome painted portraits by Snowden-Fine of diverse official breeds, mostly drawn to scale, at work or play. Along with explaining what the titular sniffing as well as tail-wagging and yelps (“a canine version of texting”) communicate, the author introduces famous dogs from Cerberus and Rin Tin Tin to internet celebrity Boo the Pomeranian, tucks in perfunctory notes on proper diet and care, and mentions dozens of breeds. Most of these are depicted nearby, though sometimes in distant or indistinct views. Readers with vision issues will also struggle with passages of narrative that are printed on dark green or other low-contrast backdrops. Sometimes Crumpton rambles, as when he follows up “Why does dog poop smell so bad?” with three feces-related factoids (including the importance of scooping) before answering, kind of. Andy Hirsch’s entry in the graphic Science Comics series, Dogs: From Predator to Protector (2017), digs deeper into the topic, but this once-over has plenty to chew on. Occasional human figures in the art display a range of skin color and style of dress.
Not particularly systematic, but young dog lovers will wolf it down. (glossary, index of breeds) (Informational picture book. 7-9)