HOW DOG BEGAN by Pauline Baynes


Email this review


An unusual picture book for older children, set in the Stone Age. Baynes has taken common conjecture about how dogs became domesticated and turned it into a story about an orphaned wolf pup. To fit picture-book length, many spectacularevents are condensed into a somewhat exaggerated but entertaining tale. The pictures are the heart here. Stylized black-and-white figures are superimposed on wash backgrounds that represent the uneven surface of a cave wall: these renditions of cave paintings produce a strong evocation of the time, and are effective artistically, with their expressive, stark simplicity. The only sour note is the final page in which ""dog"" gets his name by turning around after the people decide he must be a ""god"" so that the word is reversed as well. The pun is forgivable, but it is irritating lo pretend that English was spoken in prehistoric times.

Pub Date: March 20th, 1987
Publisher: Henry Holt