Be Brown!

Overview

“Sit! Stay! Be quiet!” Why won't this bad dog behave? When the little boy says “sit!” he jumps. When the boy yells “stay!” he leaps off after a squirrel. And when the boy tosses a stick to “fetch!” the little brown dog rolls over. Will this dog with a mind of his own ever pay attention to the little boy? If only the boy could think of just the right command.... Hilarious illustrations bring this sweet story vividly to life as boy and dog both learn the importance of being ...

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Overview

“Sit! Stay! Be quiet!” Why won't this bad dog behave? When the little boy says “sit!” he jumps. When the boy yells “stay!” he leaps off after a squirrel. And when the boy tosses a stick to “fetch!” the little brown dog rolls over. Will this dog with a mind of his own ever pay attention to the little boy? If only the boy could think of just the right command.... Hilarious illustrations bring this sweet story vividly to life as boy and dog both learn the importance of being themselves.

A little boy is frustrated by a rambunctious dog that refuses to obey.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The command of the title is the only one that a pet dog obeys. "A simple, effective tale of a boy beleaguered by a disobedient dog," wrote PW. Ages 2-8. (Apr.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
In this vividly illustrated picture book, a young boy attempts to control his floppy- eared brown dog by giving the dog repeated commands. Being a dog, he has his own ideas of what he wishes to do. The dog runs and plays constantly, making the boy more and more aggravated. In a last attempt to control the dog, the boy gives one final command: be brown! The illustrator, who owns a carefree brown dog himself, portrays the dog as the high-spirited creature he is. He covers the pages with bright colors and large pictures to show readers where to focus their attention. The boy's expressions let the reader know exactly how aggravated he is. In the end, the boy and the dog reach a compromise, making friends again. This delightful book will allow readers to see that being in control is not always the best and is not always possible. 2002, Putnam & Grosset, Ages 4 to 8.
— Joye Clardy
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1-The story of a little boy and his rambunctious, disobedient dog. Brown won't follow any of his young master's commands of "Sit," "Stay," or "Down." In fact, he does just the opposite, much to the child's frustration. Finally, as if inspired, the boy yells, "Be Brown!" This command elicits a joyous response from the animal and a relieved "Good dog" from the boy. In the spirit of David Shannon's No, David! (Scholastic, 1998), the book has one word per page, leaving the uncluttered, expressive illustrations to expand on the story. The boy's bulging eyes; wide, large, open mouth; and unruly red hair give him the look of any youngster fruitlessly chasing after something that is clearly too much for him. The child-sized dog bounds about the yard and house in total disregard for his young owner's words. A fun book for beginning readers and lap-time sharing that will elicit giggles all around.-Jane Marino, Scarsdale Public Library, NY Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Bottner's simple tale concerns a young boy with a need to control. A high-maintenance brown pooch is the object of his bossing, a pooch that has perfected the art of selective hearing. Giving one command per page-sit, stay, fetch, come, off-the boy might as well be shouting orders to a sack of hammers. His exasperation is growing, his cheeks are mantling in crimson, his hair is about to launch itself from his scalp, when he realizes that the dog will listen to the right command: "Be Brown!" The dog complies and the boy gets to say, "Good dog." For a story with a total of fewer than two dozen words, Bottner's is nicely communicative about the absence of communication, and the absurd ending bevels the harshness of all the yelling and scolding. Gott's (Patches, Lost and Found, p. 111) artwork, though vivid, is overly polished and the elements within each picture feel disconnected, much like the boy and the dog, as if layered rather than integrated. Still, as a first outing for a new reader, this commands attention. (Picture book. 2-5)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780142400289
  • Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
  • Publication date: 4/12/2004
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 3 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 6.75 (w) x 10.12 (h) x 0.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Barbara Bottner
Barbara Bottner is the author of more than 36 books. She lives in Los Angeles.

Michael Emberley has been writing and illustrating children’s books since 1979. He lives in Ireland.

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