A New York Times Book Review Best Illustrated Children's Book for 2002
The Barnes & Noble Review
Ever seen a poodle hidden in your cauliflower? How about a chihuahua in your chili pepper? The authors of How Are You Peeling? and Play with Your Food are serving up this doggone funny book, which gives new, edible meaning to all our favorite canine phrases.
Whether it's "bad dog," "in the doghouse," "hot dog," or "dog eat dog," Freymann and Elffers have the right fruit or vegetable to make a "dog show" of it. Bananas, mangoes, cucumbers, and potatoes make excellent pooches, and the two authors have set them up in many hysterical poses. "Dog catcher" shows a little pepper dog flying in the air catching a Frisbee, while "dog fight" has two pear pooches snarling at each other in an extreme close-up. A red-potato hound is carrying his mushroom suitcase in "doggy bag," and "puppy love" has a little onion pup licking his mom's face. The book contains lots more, but in the end, sometimes it's best to "let sleeping dogs lie."
A simple and visually eye-catching book, Dog Food will be a hilarious treat for any canine (or food) lover. It's remarkable what Freymann and Elffers can do with food, and their doggy creations match each phrase perfectly. Both charming and zippy, readers will be howling with laugher over this "top dog."
Fans of the team behind How Are You Peeling? (about which PW wrote, "Photos of scowling oranges and gregarious scallions garnish this garden of delights") will welcome the board book editions of Dog Food and Baby Food by Saxton Freymann and Joost Elffers. Ingeniously carved peppers, potatoes and pears contrast "good dog" with "bad dog" and "top dog" with "underdog," while wide-eyed sculpted sweet potatoes and scallions emerge as baby alligators and armadillo pups. A pair to prize. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
I have to admit, the creativity of Saxton Freymann is really amazing. How he can take ordinary fruits and vegetables and turn them into recognizable animals and even add a bit of personality demonstrates real talent. In this board book, a variety of dogs fill the pages. Really, who would have imagined that bananas, okra, potatoes, cauliflower, and artichokes could be so successfully turned into a dog parade? The real differences between this and the companion book Baby Food are the humor in the text and the illustrations. It is a book that will have plenty of appeal to the adult caregiver who can share the book with a toddler. Art teachers may even use it to challenge older students to come up with creations of their own. This is a board book that can really be enjoyed over and over. Also available as a hardcover edition. 2006, Arthur A. Levine Books/Scholastic, and Ages 2 to 6.
School Library Journal
K-Gr-3-A variety of dogs is cleverly constructed entirely from fruits and vegetables. A dachshundlike pup is fashioned from bananas, and poodlelike pooches with curly locks are created out of cauliflower or broccoli. Simple cuts have been made to form legs and ears, and small pieces of other fruits and vegetables have been attached for eyes and other small body parts. Each canine appears on a bright, solid-colored background and is labeled with a simple phrase. The idiomatic expressions and other descriptors show the many ways the words "dog" and "puppy" have been incorporated into the English language. "Dog tired," "sick as a dog," "top dog," and "puppy love" are just a few examples. The endpapers show all of the creatures pictured in the book, and the back cover lists the ingredients used. Most children probably won't want to read this more than once, but it provides a brief, fun-for-browsing experience.-Adele Greenlee, Bethel College, St. Paul, MN Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
In this latest entry in their series using food as modeling material, Freymann and Elffers (Gus and Button, 2001, etc.) turn their talents for clever puns, both visual and verbal, to the world of dogs. The cover photo shows an appealing dachshund made from bananas, with curved pieces of peel hanging down as the dog's ears and the tiny black banana end serving nicely as the dog's nose. There are good dogs made of lettuce, potatoes, artichokes, and cauliflower, a bad dog made of green pepper who knocks over a lamp, and then it's on to the punny dogs: a hot dog who has burned his seat on a flame-shaped peach, a shivering chilly dog next to a mushroom snowman, and on and on. Every possible dog-themed expression is included (top dog, underdog, lucky dog, pup tent, and many more), with all the dogs and their appropriate gear created from food items. (A list of all the foods used is included on the back cover.) The dogs are attractively photographed on different brightly colored backgrounds with each dog expression in large, contrasting type that is slightly askew, as though each letter was hand-stamped. At first, this volume might seem to have a limited audience of younger children, but it could well serve as an easy reader for students of all ages (including adults), as a pun-filled treat for young gifted students, and as a thoughtful gift to cheer up any dog lover. (Picture book. 3-8)