A scrawny but intelligent hound dog finds a home on a farm by winning over the reluctant farmer.
The hound asks the farmer if he needs a dog, but the man is reluctant to take on a dog, saying that dogs don’t earn their keep. The wily hound pretends to audition for a farm job as a horse, a cow, and a chicken, finding ways to help with each group of animals so that the entire farm operation improves its efficiency. After cleaning out the henhouse, the dog beds down for the night next to the hens, and it’s his burst of loud barking that prevents a fox from stealing eggs or chickens. The farmer finally realizes the value of a good farm dog and offers the hound a home and a job. The dog’s creative ploys and the physical humor resulting from his schemes propel the story to the satisfying, conclusive hug. Evocative illustrations in watercolor and colored pencil use a muted palette that suits the sad, earnest demeanor of the homeless dog trying to make a place for himself. The farmer wears glasses, but his eyes don’t show within the eyeglass frames, perhaps indicating a man who can’t see the value of a good thing right in front of his eyes.
Humorous, with a bittersweet edge. (Picture book. 4-8)