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The Doghouse
  • Alternative view 1 of The Doghouse
  • Alternative view 2 of The Doghouse

The Doghouse

4.5 2
by Jan Thomas

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Mouse, Pig, Cow, and Duck are playing a carefree game of ball when (horror of horrors!) their ball gets kicked into . . . THE DOGHOUSE. Who will risk a run-in with scary Dog to get it back? Hysterical high anxiety ensues as Mouse volunteers each animal to do the dirty work—but you’ll never believe what’s really going on in the doghouse!


Mouse, Pig, Cow, and Duck are playing a carefree game of ball when (horror of horrors!) their ball gets kicked into . . . THE DOGHOUSE. Who will risk a run-in with scary Dog to get it back? Hysterical high anxiety ensues as Mouse volunteers each animal to do the dirty work—but you’ll never believe what’s really going on in the doghouse!
With Jan Thomas’s fun, fresh art and priceless animal expressions, this timeless tale of fear and friendship will have readers howling.

Editorial Reviews

The Horn Book Magazine
"Thick black outlines, solid blocks of color, and easily read facial expressions will work well for story times. Allusions at the end to cake and turnips recall Thomas’s earlier A Birthday for Cow!, which featured these four barnyard friends being just as silly. Read both books together, and you’ll have preschoolers rolling in the aisles."—The Horn Book Magazine (November/December 2008)

From the Publisher
Praise for What Will Fat Cat Sit On?:
[set star]“A rollicking and highly promising debut.”—Publishers Weekly (starred)
“Fat Cat’s sheepish grin is the running punch line in this cheerful, boldly designed picture book.”—The New York Times Book Review

Children's Literature - Nancy Garhan Attebury
A frightened cartoon-like gray mouse and complimentary blue and orange colors on the cover of this book work well to attract readers. The simple tale gets going when a ball with which Cow, Mouse, Duck, and Pig are playing gets kicked into the doghouse. The question of who will get the ball does not turn up any volunteers, so one by one, mouse sends the others after it by first stating their strong qualities. None of them ever comes back outside, and Mouse grows more and more frightened. Listeners can only guess what has happened to them, and the zany illustrations do not make it appear to be a happy situation, until a surprise ending has all of them enjoying a meal with Dog in the doghouse. As with other Jan Thomas books, this one is intriguing, humorous, and filled with lines that listeners will repeat after a few reads. It is a good read just for fun but can also add much to preschool and elementary grade reading lessons. Teachers will welcome it as a tale that lends itself to creative drama when children act out the parts of the characters. Reviewer: Nancy Garhan Attebury
School Library Journal


The barnyard animals are playing with a red ball that accidentally rolls into the doghouse. Who's going to get it out? Mouse says Cow is big, brave, and strong, and must go first. Cow goes in but does not come out. Pig tries next, as Mouse deems him smart, wise, and stinky. Pig takes offense at the "stinky" designation, but proceeds into the doghouse. Pig does not return either. Duck, as the loudest, goes next-and disappears just like the others. The only one left outside, Mouse timidly calls out, "Can't you come out, Duck?"-upon which Dog appears in the doorway and says, "No! Because I am having duck for dinner." Mouse assumes the worst, but the last spread shows all the animals inside the dog's house sitting down to a meal. Mouse joins the party on the endpapers, just in time for dessert. The simple cartoon characters, scenery, and dialogue balloons are outlined in thick, bold lines. Colors are smooth and flat, with backgrounds done in bright blues, purple, and lime green. The pictures are large and distinct, and will work well with a group. The joke is an old one, but it's always new to kids just beginning to understand wordplay.-Ieva Bates, Ann Arbor District Library, MI

Kirkus Reviews
The third time continues the charm for Thomas's latest offering featuring her familiar animal buddies (A Birthday for Cow, 2008). When Cow's energetic kick sends the ball out of reach of Pig, Duck and Mouse, the toy lands in unknown terrority: the doghouse. Mouse cajoles each animal in turn to venture into the daunting canine quarters to reclaim the ball; much to Mouse's dismay, however, none of them returns. When Mouse timidly asks if Duck may leave the doghouse, he meets the house's toothy resident, who refuses to grant the rodent's request. Bold cartoon illustrations provide an inside glimpse into Dog's living space, the setting for a surprising reunion for these friends and their ball. The successful use of repetition, realized through succinct sentences (rendered in speech balloons) and solid colors, maintains the material's superb pacing. Slanted lines and masterful use of the frame capture the shifting moods and actions of the characters, perfectly placed on each page. Thomas's entertaining story and spirited illustrations kick this one right out of the park. (Picture book. 3-6)

Product Details

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
Edition description:
First Edition
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
9.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.30(d)
Age Range:
4 - 7 Years

Meet the Author

JAN THOMAS is the creator of many hilarious books for young readers. When she isn't working on children's books, she's painting pictures, playing the drums, backpacking, or wrangling dust bunnies.

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4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My kids (4, 2 and 1) can't get enough of this book. It is now dog-eared and tattered because it has been read over and over again. Honestly, I had to hide it from my one year-old because she wants me to read it over and over and over again. It really is a great, fun story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My kids and I originally found this book at the library. We now own it! My three year old loves the story and understands the humor, while my twenty month old enjoys the photos and still is able to follow the story for the most part. I will caution that if you have a very timid toddler they may find a page or two a little scary. Overall-very loved book at our house.