A spotted dachshund with an inquiring mind and big ambitions starts his own French-fry stand, and his fries become popular with customized versions around the world.
Though Roger finds fame and fortune with his fantastic fries, he ultimately realizes his life is rather empty and worries that he is esteemed for his fries alone. The whimsical illustrations take on a darker, gray cast as Roger descends into a depressed phase, but then he meets a charming white dog, Charlotte the Corn Cob Queen, who has her own successful food business. The two canine entrepreneurs fall in love and invent a new product to sell, Royal Shepherd’s Pie. Both the story and the illustrations are appealingly fantastical, with tall-tale exaggerations and witty interactions with satisfied customers. The illustrations have a chic, urban flair with a muted palette and some hints at the author/illustrator’s French-Canadian background, such as a few signs in both English and French. A poster of the dogs with their recipe for shepherd’s pie is included on the inside of the book jacket.
Roger’s story conveys the subtle and salutary message that material achievement and fame does not necessarily include love and companionship, and a shared venture may be sweeter than solitary success. (Picture book. 4-7)