CAN I BE YOUR DOG? by Troy Cummings


by ; illustrated by
Age Range: 4 - 8
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A large, lonely dog named Arfy writes letters to residents of Butternut Street asking to be adopted so he won’t have to continue living in a cardboard carton in an alley.

Arfy introduces his story in a winning way on the cover by holding out an envelope with the title words in bold, hand-lettered print. The talented dog is shown holding a pencil in his mouth to write his first letter, which is delivered by a brown-skinned, female mail carrier with straight black hair. Arfy writes to each house or business on his street, but everyone turns the dog down for a different reason. Both the letters and responses are creatively composed in varying styles of lettering, from hand printing to typeface, and with humorous approaches, such as a form letter from the fire department saying “the position of: FIRE DOG has already been filled.” The same mail carrier delivers each letter, looking increasingly worried about Arfy, and in a satisfying and surprising conclusion, she writes her own letter to Arfy offering to “be your person.” The final endpapers show a map version of Butternut Street and the post office, with Arfy helping the mail carrier with her delivery route. A large format and bold, exuberant illustrations are well-matched with Arfy’s enthusiastic personality and can-do attitude. The letter format makes this a fine choice for early-elementary students learning to compose letters.

Persuasive writing by a persistently pleasing pooch. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: March 13th, 2018
ISBN: 978-0-399-55452-0
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Random House
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15th, 2018


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