Bad Dog School

Overview

Zippy was a dog with a little too much . . . zip. But that’s the way Harris, his owner, liked him. Zippy made everything more fun, from digging for treasure in the garden to making tidal waves in the tub. The rest of Harris’s family thought Zippy needed obedience school. But obedience school made Zippy so well-behaved that he was no fun at all. Luckily, Harris knew just what to do: send Zippy to Bad Dog School! Barbara M. Joosse’s uncanny understanding of the relationship between children and animals is showcased...

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Overview

Zippy was a dog with a little too much . . . zip. But that’s the way Harris, his owner, liked him. Zippy made everything more fun, from digging for treasure in the garden to making tidal waves in the tub. The rest of Harris’s family thought Zippy needed obedience school. But obedience school made Zippy so well-behaved that he was no fun at all. Luckily, Harris knew just what to do: send Zippy to Bad Dog School! Barbara M. Joosse’s uncanny understanding of the relationship between children and animals is showcased in this sweet, funny story about compromise.

Harris's family decides that his dog Zippy should go to dog obedience school, but after he is trained, they miss the old Zippy.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Zippy is a small, tan dog of indeterminate breed but distinct character...theme of compromise and moderation...zesty individuality." KIRKUS Kirkus Reviews

"There can never be too many dog books, and this humorous one....is the pick of the litter." SLJ School Library Journal

"...trouble-making shenanigans...gleeful sound effects...exuberant patterns of muddy pawprints...add some lively interest to a discussion of good manners" Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

Children's Literature
What do you do with a dog named Zippy whose "zippiness" is appreciated by only one person in the whole house? You send him to obedience school. While a young boy's love for his out-of-control dog leaves his family less than enthused, the training that his dog receives removes all trace of the endearing qualities that the boy fell in love with. Even the rest of the family finally admits that Zippy was a whole lot more fun before learning how to be "good." The only solution—retrain him at bad dog school! Although the storyline centers on the love between a boy and his dog, the concept of family compromise can be applied to many other relationships as well. Educators may also find this book useful in teaching situations that celebrate the unique qualities we all share—furry or not. A fun read for any animal lover. 2004, Clarion Books/Houghton Mifflin Company, Ages 4 to 8.
—Mary Forbes
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-Zippy is like a "shook-up pop bottle-ready to explode" and Harris likes his pup that way. Together, the pals enjoy camping under a blanket tent and sailing the high seas in the bathtub. When Harris's family objects to the noise, mess, and mischief that result from too many puppy pranks, the boy concedes that perhaps obedience school is the best place for his best friend. However, Zippy is a quick study, and is soon transformed from a "bad dog" into a pet that is so perfect he is boring. To rekindle Zippy's zest for life, Harris proposes "Bad Dog School." The family re-trains the irresistible pooch, even inviting him to lie on the sofa that is now wisely protected with a sheet. The descriptive language keeps the action moving. The engaging watercolor cartoons are filled with realistic details and perfectly capture the emotions of the characters. Muddy paw prints decorate the endpapers and wind their way through the pictures. There can never be too many dog books, and this humorous one, with its reassuring message for energetic kids and canines, is the pick of the litter.-Gloria Koster, West School, New Canaan, CT Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Zippy is a small, tan dog of indeterminate breed but distinct character in this story with a theme of compromise and moderation. Zippy is the faithful companion of a boy named Harris, who loves all of his dog's mischievous antics, such as stealing dinner off the countertop, digging up the garden, and howling like a wolf. When the rest of the family concludes that Zippy needs obedience training, the class reforms him. Alas, with his newfound training, Zippy has lost his zip, and everyone misses their pet's previous personality. Off to "Bad Dog School," where he learns to enjoy his favorite activities in a more moderate way. The illustrations in watercolor and ink bring little Zippy to life, with particularly expressive eyes and ears and a variety of appealing poses. Trails of tiny, muddy footprints scamper across the endpapers and title page, leading the reader right into the story; Plecas repeats this clever device in several illustrations. It's a little long, and Harris looks a little old to be playing pirates with his dog, but Zippy zooms past these issues with ease thanks to his zesty individuality. (Picture book. 4-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780618133314
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 8/28/2004
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Edition description: None
  • Pages: 40
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.00 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.13 (d)

Meet the Author

BARBARA JOOSSE is the best-selling author of more than thirty books for children. She lives in a little stone house in Wisconsin. Visit her website at www.barbarajoosse.com.

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