Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Costumed by his mother as a hot dog with bun, Oscar the dachshund goes from hangdog to top dog in what PW's starred review called a "pun-o-rama." Ages 4-7. (Sept.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature - Susan Fournier
Children will immediately identify with Oscar, a little "wiener" dog with many problems. Because of his unusual shape and size, the rest of the dog and cat community often teases Oscar. To make matters worse, Oscar's mother surprises him with a homemade Halloween costume. The hot dog costume, complete with mustard and a bun, is not exactly what Oscar had in mind. Not wanting to hurt his mother's feelings, Oscar decides to wear the costume even though he knows the reaction it will evoke from his friends. Burdened by the size of his costume, Oscar tries to trick-or-treat with his friends despite incessant teasing and hounds who take all the treats before Oscar can make it to the houses. Oscar feels that all is lost. Suddenly, a ghastly monster appears and frightens the dogs so much that they jump into a nearby pond to hide. Because of his short stature, Oscar is able to discover the true identity of the monster and expose it as a couple of ornery cats. Oscar rescues his friends and becomes a hero. The colorful illustrations and rich language compliment this hilarious tale. Readers will cheer for Oscar as he goes from a "Wiener Dog" to a "Hero Sandwich."
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-Oscar is a dachshund who is ``...half-a-dog tall and one-and-a-half dogs long.'' All the other neighborhood dogs-a motley crew of meanies-make fun of him. His mother doesn't help matters any, showering him publicly with endearments that refer invariably to sausage. What Oscar wants more than anything is to be something scary for Halloween, but when he rushes home from obedience school his mother surprises him with a costume that's exactly the opposite of what he had in mind-``...a giant hot-dog bun, complete with mustard.'' He gives his mom a kiss, but the look on his face is pure pain. Poor Oscar! Slowed down by his silly costume, he trails behind his pack of greedy peers, who snarf up all the treats at each house before he has a chance to grab any. But Oscar is truly a good dog-when two cats disguised as a monster chase his pals into the lake, he swims to their rescue and finally earns their appreciation. Pilkey's vibrant, cartoonstyle illustrations include tons of hilarious touches-Oscar's mother has crazy human lipstick lips painted on her muzzle; his teacher has a milkbone on his desk instead of an apple (and the lesson of the day is SIT-STAY); and the two ornery felines can often be seen laughing at the canines from their unique vantage point. This may be the funniest Halloween story ever written, and it's definitely got the most lovable hero.-Vanessa Elder, School Library Journal
From the Publisher
"Raising this story above cliche and bringing its poignancy is Oscar's goodness, which shines almost perpetually." - Kirkus - pointer review
"This may be the funniest Halloween story ever written, and it's definitely got the most lovable hero." - SLJ - starred review
"...canine pun-o-rama." - PW - starred review