Dog Brain

Dog Brain

by David Milgrim

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Sneakers the dog would rather play dumb than play dead. When told to fetch or roll over, he shrugs; upon hearing the words "You're in my chair!," he points to a dunce cap on his head and stares pointedly at the TV. "I think he's faking it," says the young narrator, whose parents haven't caught on to Sneakers' act. Images of the smiling dog, who splashes in a pool heedless of the father yelling, "Hey! No dogs in the pool!", tend to support the "genius" theory of Sneakers as a canny canine whose feigned ignorance allows him to do exactly as he pleases. The author augments his rather thin premise by suggesting that Sneakers leads a late-night intellectual life at doggy cafs and movie houses; this amounts to a good-natured swat at human slackers, but doesn't advance the plot. Using dialogue balloons as well as straight text, Milgrim saturates each page with heavy shades of orange, royal purple, teal and blue, and works in big, bold shapes with thick black-ink outlines. The minimally detailed spreads are nicely composed and uncluttered, yet there's nothing fresh about either the material or Milgrim's handling of it. Ages 3-8. (Sept.)
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 3Sneakers may play dumb, but his young owner sees through the act. Fantasizing about the dog's double life, the narrator imagines Sneakers taking off after everyone is asleep, sipping coffee at all-dog cafes, taking in a poetry reading, and dancing wildly at all-night parties. The boy concludes that Sneakers is really a genius to let his people believe he is too dumb to follow any of their rules. Milgrim fleshes out the spare, large-print text with hilarious illustrations that feature the canine living out the boy's fantasy, while the adults chalk his misbehavior up to idiocy. The high-energy, cartoonstyle pictures are colorful and childlike. A perfect story to combine with Nina Laden's The Night I Followed the Dog (Chronicle, 1994).Lisa S. Murphy, formerly at Dauphin County Library System, Harrisburg, PA
Kirkus Reviews
Sneakers only appears to be the world's dumbest dog: He won't fetch, roll over, or obey any of the house rules. The boy narrator, clearly envious of the dog's misbehavior, decides that Sneakers is only playing dumb. He imagines a secret world after dark, where the mutt slinks off to wild beach parties and doggie poetry slams. Milgrim's text is as simple as Sneakers's mind, and his artwork is as naive as the boy's fantasy. With few frills he achieves a bold comic style, as Sneakers shrugs off a mishap or points to the dunce cap on his head to explain himself. The boy and his dog are reminiscent of "Peanuts" characters, both in the way they are drawn and in their relationship. Lots of fun, and accessible to the very young.

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Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
7.64(w) x 9.12(h) x 0.37(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

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