In this funny and fetching twist on the traditional story, a dog dreams of owning his very own boy.
Children's Literature - Kathie M. JosephsThis book certainly brings back memories of the time I begged my parents to buy me a puppy. Of course, I thought all I would have to do with the puppy was to play with it. This story is the reverse of the traditional boy-wants-a-dog story; here, a puppy wants a boy. The puppy's mother spends a lot of time explaining how much work it is to have a boy. Each day of the week, the puppy learns what must be done before he is ready to be a boy owner. Monday he makes a boy food list, Tuesday he gets a leash, Wednesday he attends obedience school to learn new tricks, and so on. One day, he tells his mother that he is leaving and not coming home until he finds a boy. The next part of the story takes the reader on the puppy's adventure. Unfortunately, the dogcatcher comes along and puts him in a cage. He sure is homesick! Finally, he ends up in a "meet and greet" room where he meets a long-sought boy. The two go back to the boy's home a trial visit. The ending is wonderful, and I can't imagine any child not liking this book. The story is easy to read, and the illustrations are wonderful; it would be a great book to read aloud. I get excited when I come across a book with a different spin that still conveys the necessary message loud and clear. I highly recommend this book. Reviewer: Kathie M. Josephs
School Library JournalK-Gr 2—Dog wants a boy. His mother says it's okay as long as he takes care of it, but she warns him, "A boy is hard to train." On Monday, he puts boy food on the grocery list. Tuesday he gets a leash so he can walk his boy. Wednesday he goes to obedience school to see what he can teach his boy. Thursday he's turned away from the Doggy Spa for not having a boy to pay for the haircut and pedicure. Friday he leaves the house determined to return with a boy. After a long day of fruitless searching, Dog stays out too late and is picked up by the dogcatcher. Saturday he meets just the right boy in the meet 'n' greet room at the shelter. Sunday he writes his mom a letter saying he's found a boy and will stay at his house for a while, but he'll visit soon. Children will be amused by the role reversal while adults wonder why a boy is needed to pay for spa services but not groceries. And why does Dog specifically want a boy? Was he wronged by a girl in his past? Using a color palette of muted tans, blues, greens, and grays, Spires's illustrations are decidedly retro. The characters have unambiguous expressions and there are plenty of details to entertain, such as the mother burying a bone with a garden trowel and the doggy waste bags at the park. Fun, but additional.—Catherine Callegari, Gay-Kimball Library, Troy, NH
Kirkus ReviewsDog wants a boy, even though his mother points out that they are hard to train and that there isn't enough room in the dog house. Dog sets out anyway to completely prepare for the boy he knows he'll someday have: He buys "Kid Crunch," gets a leash and attends obedience school. When Dog leaves home with the intent of finding a boy, he discovers it's harder than he thought to find just the right one. Dog ends up in the pound because he has no license or leash, and he doesn't know how he will get home. He's taken out of his cage for a meet 'n' greet where he finally finds Boy, THE boy he's been waiting for. Dog decides to stay at Boy's house, but he promises his mother they'll visit soon. Jennings's twist on the boy-meets-dog tale will please those who enjoy the wry and somewhat skewed. Spires's muted watercolor-and-ink box-headed cartoon illustrations are a good match for the time-in-cheek text. Not for literal-minded readers, but those with an appreciation for the slightly absurd will chuckle. (Picture book. 3-7)
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