A little boy narrates a story about his dog, Bob, who can do amazing things around the house but can’t accomplish standard dog tricks.
Bob is an unassuming sort, just a midsize, white dog with floppy ears and a big nose. His talents, however, are undeniable, as he can cook breakfast, drive the family to work and school, play golf, and help an archaeologist excavate a dinosaur bone. His family accepts all these stellar qualities as normal for Bob. But when the narrator meets a snobbish little girl in the park, her equally snobbish poodle shows off some standard dog tricks that Bob can’t handle, such as fetching a stick and sitting on command. The snooty little girl declares her dog the winner of her self-styled contest and flounces off in search of someone else to impress. Bob apologizes for his shortcomings, the boy gives him a pat, and they head home to get something to eat—homemade pizza made by the talented dog. Though the story is short and understated, its gentle, ironic humor and quiet acceptance of individual strengths sends a powerful message. Not everyone has the same abilities, and sometimes one who is less than successful on the playground may be a star at home in the family constellation. Cartoon-style illustrations in watercolor and oil pencil use simple shapes and uncluttered backgrounds to effectively complement the restrained feeling of the succinct text.
Quiet and clever, just like Bob. (Picture book. 3-7)