Bertie Was a Watchdog

Bertie Was a Watchdog

by Rick Walton, Arthur Robins
     
 

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A very small watchdog proves that size isn’t everything—even when you’re up against a big bad robber.

Bertie is a rather unusual watchdog. That’s because Bertie is, well, about the size of a watch. So when a horrible robber breaks in, tiny Bertie is put to the test! Bertie nips the robber on the leg, chases him around the sofa, and

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Overview

A very small watchdog proves that size isn’t everything—even when you’re up against a big bad robber.

Bertie is a rather unusual watchdog. That’s because Bertie is, well, about the size of a watch. So when a horrible robber breaks in, tiny Bertie is put to the test! Bertie nips the robber on the leg, chases him around the sofa, and challenges him to a barking contest. But will Bertie succeed in scaring the robber away?

Here’s a silly story brimming with kid appeal, complete with slapstick chases, comically mismatched adversaries, and a well-deserved triumph by an indefatigable underdog. Combining the fun of comics and a full-size picture book, here is a refreshing new format offering a punch line on every page.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
When first seen against a receding cityscape, Bertie the watchdog appears to possess all the looming menace of a modern-day Cerberus. But as Walton (Bunny Day) dryly explains, Bertie was called a watchdog because he was about the size of a watch. Robins (The Teeny Tiny Woman) cheekily reveals that when Bertie is rendered from a less distorted perspective, he's not even pint-sized. What chance does a diminutive dog have against a giant intruder? But when a burly burglar invades his territory, Bertie challenges him to a test of wits. In Robins's gleefully garish, full-bleed watercolor-and-ink cartoons, the robber takes up most of the succeeding spreads even his sausage-like nose is bigger than Bertie. But the canine prevails by conning the ne'er-do-well into a series of contests, the last of which determines who can bark the loudest. The robber's winning ruckus captures the attention of a couple of cops on a fast-food break. I win! is the parting riposte of the triumphant Bertie, now the proud owner of an oversize hero's medal. Youngsters will be won over as well both by the pooch's brainy pluck and the reassuring moral that right can triumph over might. Ages 4-7. (June) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
Bertie is far from the traditional watchdog. In fact, he is called a watchdog because he is about as small as a watch, small enough to make the stereotypical "horrible robber" who creeps in one night laugh out loud. But in their challenging confrontation, little Bertie uses his wits to make the robber reveal himself to the alert police. He is delighted to be the winning hero at last. Our scruffy hero is introduced on the front jacket/cover, with the robber depicted on the back. The visual story begins with the nighttime cityscape of the front end papers. The title pages add the tiptoeing burglar. Bertie bursts forth on the next double page in full swagger. A thick, nervous black ink outline, watercolor, and bold black typography combine with melodramatic facial expressions and body language to produce the satisfying comic drama. 2002, Candlewick Press,
— Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1-Bertie looks as though he couldn't hurt a flea, but a robber who comes to the pup's house finds out differently. Although he can't bite hard or chase quickly or bark loudly, he uses his brain and tricks the bad guy. The humorous watercolor illustrations in warm tones of blue, turquoise, coral, and gold outlined in black ink are arranged in an appealing format with close-up views of the action and large, black type. The whole adds up to an extremely lively book with a subtle message. Paired with Jules Feiffer's Bark, George (HarperCollins, 1999), this one could contribute to an entertaining dog storytime or be used with traditional tales such as "Elephant in a Well" and "Goat in the Chili Patch" in a program on being small and still doing great things. A treat for all.-Judith Constantinides, formerly at East Baton Rouge Parish Main Library, LA Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Brains overcome brawn once again in this laugh-out-loud encounter between a huge, leering burglar and a minuscule canine guardian. Bertie's ferocious grimace and spiked collar fill the first two spreads, but, as the third reveals, he's called a "watch dog" because he's actually about the size of a Rolex. Nonetheless, when the hulking second-story man breaks in, Bertie attacks. Laughing, the intruder shows that he can run faster, bite harder, and, with Bertie egging him on, bark louder-loudly enough, in fact, to bring the police. Robins (The Thank You Book, not reviewed, etc.) catches the encounter in loosely drawn cartoon close-ups of a scruffy, page-filling robber and his annoyed-looking mini-nemesis. Surrounded by the ribbon of his shiny new "HERO" medal, Bertie gets the last laugh, crowing, " �I win!' " Young readers will enthusiastically agree. (Picture book. 5-7)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780763613853
Publisher:
Candlewick Press
Publication date:
06/28/2002
Edition description:
1ST
Pages:
56
Product dimensions:
10.50(w) x 7.25(h) x 0.41(d)
Lexile:
AD80L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Rick Walton is the author of numerous books for children, including HOW MANY, HOW MANY, HOW MANY, illustrated by Cynthia Jabar; and two books in Candlewick’s Really, Really Bad Jokes series. About BERTIE WAS A WATCHDOG he says, "I like stories where things are not as they seem. A watchdog is usually big and mean. I thought it would be fun to write a story about a watchdog who you discover is not big and mean - who protects not with his bark and his bite, but with his brain."

Arthur Robins has illustrated such books as WHAT USE IS A MOOSE? by Martin Waddell and has also displayed his inimitable humor in the Giggle Club title THE TEENY TINY WOMAN. Arthur Robins says that his biggest challenge in illustrating Bertie Was a Watchdog was to come up with the right-sized dog. As he explains, "My editor said, ‘Draw Bertie smaller. No, smaller - smaller than that. Smaller still. . . . Good, now, where is he?’"

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