Moms can’t see them, and dads scare them away, but these mythical creatures are present at sleep or at play.
No-Dogs are six-legged, fluffy mythical creatures that make strange sounds, hide in trees, change their smell and play games. Most of all, No-Dogs love and protect children, who always know they’re around. A soothing musical backdrop and Bourgonje's fey illustrations set the friendly, calming tone, as children search for the No-Dogs, who hide very well... especially under the bed. Interactive extras are minimal but well placed. Readers can clean up the “No-Dogs Allowed” sign, post their own pictures to the No-Dog Family wall and play ball with the No-Dog on the last page. Still, there are some holes here. The rhyme scheme takes a desperate turn at times (see/pee; mutt/butt), and syntax suffers as well. The story falters in one major way. Readers are told that No-Dogs are “always your best friend whenever you’re good,” which begs the question: What if you’ve been not so good? Are the No-Dogs going to take their love and protection away? Later, they learn that No-Dogs smell like all your favorite things when you’re being good, but when you’re bad—look out! No-Dogs smell like dead fish.
Such fickle, conditional friends seem a bit unfunny for a feel-safe-and-loved bedtime story... even in a fairy tale. (iPad storybook app. 3-7)