Ed, the Ellis family dog, has many talents, but none of them matches the excellence of the five Ellis children’s—or so he thinks.
Ed longs for a place at the family table, in the van, and on the couch, if only he can think of something that he excels at. But from soccer and ballet to math and baking, Elaine, Edith, Ernie, and twins Emily and Elmer outdo Ed at things that seem the most important (and delightfully counter to gender-stereotypical fashion). Endpapers show Ed twirling and rolling across the title page and into the story, where he’s maneuvered himself right out of the striped sweater he’s been dressed in. He sits wagging his tail at the feet of all five of the Ellis kids, their affection for one another and for their dog obvious. There is a lot of humor in the illustrations and wordplay that children will delight in. Ed imagines that he might be best at “breaking stuff,” till Elaine comes along boasting of a broken record, for instance. A frustrated Ed finally feels noticed for the talents that only he has: cleaning the floor when food is spilled and giving a warm doggy welcome when the family comes home. Rounded, loose lines and vivid splashes of color in acrylics, watercolor, crayon, and grease pencil make for a cheery depiction of life in a middle-class African-American household.
A warm, welcome reminder that everyone is excellent at something. (Picture book. 3-6)