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Dog in Charge

( 2 )


When the going gets tough, Dog . . . takes a nap

Dog can Sit.
He can Stay.
He can even Dance.
But when he's in charge, can he keep the cats in line?
All one, two, three, four, five of them?

With slapstick silliness and utterly earnest charm, Dog will quickly wiggle his way...

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When the going gets tough, Dog . . . takes a nap

Dog can Sit.
He can Stay.
He can even Dance.
But when he's in charge, can he keep the cats in line?
All one, two, three, four, five of them?

With slapstick silliness and utterly earnest charm, Dog will quickly wiggle his way into preschoolers' hearts.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
A beleaguered bulldog tries herding cats in this high-anxiety comedy, Going’s (Fat Kid Rules the World) first picture book. In panels that open the tale, readers see the amiable Dog sitting, staying, and dancing on command—in a pink tutu, no less. Dog revels in hugs from his young owner, who instructs him to cat-sit while the family goes to the store. He benevolently eyes the five cats, and a thought-bubble shares his optimism: “First we will sit and then we will stay.” The cats have other plans, though, swiftly dispersing to wreak havoc on the kitchen counters and in the sooty fireplace (“ ‘Out,’ barked Dog. Swish! went the ashes”). Santat’s (Tom’s Tweet) overlapping comics panels suggest frenetic activity; spreads picture Dog running from room to room, and the repeated words “No cat. Or was there?” encourage readers to find pointy ears under a blanket or a tail protruding from a clothes hamper. With skillful use of repetition, an agreeable and entertaining animal cast, and a tidy ending of the best kind, dog people and cat people alike have reason to approve. Ages 3–8. (May)
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Our canine hero obeys all the commands of his mistress. So this good, smart, very best Dog is left in charge of the cats while the family goes off to the store. He prepares to give the cats commands like those he always obeys, only to find all five cats missing. Ordering, "Down," in the kitchen, he succeeds only in having the cat there knock over the milk and run away. His, "Out" has the cat in the fireplace escape, scattering ashes everywhere. A "Woof" in the bedroom only makes the cat there mess the blankets on the bed. The bathroom hamper is spilled all over the floor, as are powder, dirt from the flowerpots, and books from the shelves. Frustrated Dog is sure that when the family returns, they will no longer think he is so good. But to his surprise, the cats manage to make him a happy ending after all. The stylized illustration on the jacket is a scene of comic bliss, with the bulldog-like pooch surrounded by a quintet of felines. The end papers exhibit a dozen mug shots demonstrating a variety of his emotions; on the title page he sits stoically on one side of the double page with the cats lining up on the other side. The fun is in their ever wilder mischief around and across the pages as Dog tries vainly to get them to behave. The brief text is almost unnecessary. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—Printz-winner Going aces her picture-book debut with this comical saga of a tutu-wearing bulldog who is the designated cat-sitter while the humans are at the store. Once the car leaves the driveway, five cats of varying breeds skedaddle from the sofa to spill milk, stir up fireplace ash, empty the hamper, disrupt a vanity, and more. Dog worries that their raucous acting out will reflect badly on him: "Would he still be a good Dog, a smart Dog, the very best Dog?" His idea to entice good behavior with kibbles disappears with his own hunger. As he naps, the cats remember that they love Dog and bring the house back to perfect order as the family arrives. Dog gets his rewards, then observes the pile of sleeping felines and thinks, "Good cats…Smart cats. The very best cats." Going's sentence structure reflects the hero's thought patterns and her sound effects ("Fwomp!") escalate the humor. Santat's realistic cartoons feature priceless expressions and poses. This is a treat for all pet lovers.—Gay Lynn Van Vleck, Henrico County Library, Glen Allen, VA—
Kirkus Reviews
Printz Honor–winner Going turns from teens and preteens to preschoolers in her picture-book debut. When his family goes shopping, a much-loved bulldog is told, "‘Watch the cats, and make sure they don't get in any mischief.'" Uh-oh: Five cats rapidly wreak havoc, spilling milk, breaking flowerpots and toppling books. Dog, exhausted from chasing the elusive, wily felines, gets into some mischief himself: The bag of cat treats he'd intended to use to induce good kitty behavior proves just too tempting. After he devours it and falls asleep on the messy kitchen floor, the cats team up to tidy the joint, room by room, and the family arrives home none the wiser. Going's text is deadpan: Her Dog means well in attempting to apply to the willful cats the same sort of reward-oriented discipline that guides his life. Santat's kid-pleasing pictures, with frequent inset panels, thought bubbles and plenty of visual play-by-play, evoke children's animated cartoons. (He created Disney's TV cartoon The Replacements.) Some 50 depictions of Dog (excluding funny endpapers that showcase a dozen of his most evocative facial expressions), convey the temporary chaos broadly yet thoroughly. Dog's bewilderment at his returning owner's praise morphs into a look of rapt delight as five treats come his way: doggily spot-on. A rollicking romp. (Picture book. 3-6)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780803734791
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/10/2012
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 459,834
  • Age range: 3 - 7 Years
  • Lexile: AD310L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.30 (w) x 11.10 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

K. L. Going lives with her family in the Hudson Valley area of New York State. Since graduating from college she has worked as an adult literacy tutor, a ticket agent for a major airline, a front desk clerk at a resort hotel, and an assistant in a Manhattan literary agency. She has lived in Maine, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Louisiana and New York. K.L. is the author of many books, including Fat Kid Rules The World, The Liberation of Gabriel King, and Dog in Charge. Her first novel, Fat Kid Rules the World, was a YALSA Michael L. Printz honor book.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 1, 2012

    This is a great kids book! I used it with first and second grade

    This is a great kids book! I used it with first and second graders to target parts of a story (setting, characters, problem, solution, ending) and sequencing of events. The kids did great with the story and really liked the illustrations.

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  • Posted September 6, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    A fast and fun read for preschoolers and young children

    A fast and fun read for preschoolers and young children
    When Dog is left alone to watch over his five feline companions, he thinks it will be easy. But five cats can cause a lot of mischief, and Dog learns that being in charge is hard work. Filled with beautiful illustrations, and cute characters, Dog in Charge is a fun read for preschoolers and young children.
    Recommended for readers age 3-8.

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