Tiny is a small but determined dog who digs for hidden treasures with encouragement from his owner and despite discouragement from other critters.
The perky star of the story is a white dog with brown spots and floppy, black ears. His unnamed owner is a little black boy with red glasses who believes in Tiny’s abilities to sniff out treasures and dig them up. A larger dog, a cat, and a bird all question Tiny’s excavations with negative, teasing, and sometimes-bullying comments about his size and strength. Tiny perseveres, digging up a fish bone, a wishbone, a bone shaped like a telephone, and a trombone. After more digging, Tiny uses a long leash to pull something huge out of the pit he has dug—a complete Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton. The skeleton emerges intact, and Tiny takes it home, presumably as his pet. The rhyming story is humorous, but the verses have a singsong quality as well as some rather awkward lines and inelegant meter. Cartoon-style illustrations in watercolor and ink use white backgrounds to dramatic effect, with lots of digging action and varied perspectives. Excavating buried treasure is a popular theme explored more winningly in Paul Meisel’s See Me Run (2011) and See Me Dig (2013) and in Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen’s Caldecott Honor book, Sam and Dave Dig a Hole (2014).
Tiny tries hard, but his tale isn’t one to be treasured. (Picture book. 3-6)