Lithgow's (I'm a Manatee) singing tribute to a couple of canine ne'er-do-wells named Fanny and Blue strives for the kind of goofy, bouncy simplicity of Burl Ives's classic Little White Duck album. But as line upon line reiterates the dogs' gangly, insistent charms, song and text grow a little too familiar-even when Lithgow gooses the lyrics by turning words into howls ("They're not too smart,/ But they're loyal and true ooo ooo ooo ooo"). Neubecker (Wow! City!) fares much better: his boldly inked, maniacal cartoons capture the full measure of four-legged joie de vivre and remind readers why it's hard to stay mad at dogs for long-even when they rearrange sock drawers or share the joys of mud with startled bystanders. Ages 2-6. (Oct.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Children's Literature - Carol Ann Lloyd-Stanger
Fanny and Blue, two fun-loving dogs, lead young readers on a romp through the pages of this brightly illustrated text. The dogs seem willing to eat anything and have an uncanny ability to make a mess wherever they go. The illustrations make the labored rhymes come to life as the animals scamper through the neighborhood. When the dogs go inside, the antics continue. The bedroom dresser becomes a playground for the dogs to explore and completely rearrange. Even though they do not know any "real" tricks, Fanny and Blue can entertain their owner and their readers for page after page of fun. By the end of the day, the dogs have led everyone on a lively adventure. The book is written in a sing-song form. A CD is included with the book so that readers can sing along with John Lithgow. The illustrations are much stronger then the text. Reviewer: Carol Ann Lloyd-Stanger
School Library Journal
This musical ode to two prized pooches packs a crowd-pleasing wallop of theatricality: "I got two dogs, Fanny and Blue./Bet you kind of wish you had two dogs too.... They're not too smart, but they're loyal and true-ooo-ooo-ooo-ooo/Oh there's nothing I'd trade for my Fanny and Blue." Lithgow performs his catchy melody on the accompanying CD, complete with a back-up chorus, trilling flutes, and trumpets. The lyrics are translated clearly onto the book's pages and will send listeners into fits of giggles at each houndlike repetition of the "ooo-ooo-ooo-ooo" refrain. Neubecker's large, vibrant paintings perfectly capture the frenetic world of dog ownership, cheekily depicting a broader appreciation for each creature's personality than the verses alone provide. For example, "I got two dogs, Fanny and Blue./Always go together like a sock and shoe" is paired with a picture that reveals the two mutts using a sock and a shoe as chew toys. The illustration for "I walk 'em in the evening and the morning dew" shows the pups bounding after a very displeased cat with their leashes trailing behind. Sure to entice youngsters, this book will find a welcome home in storytime and circulating collections.-Jayne Damron, Farmington Community Library, MI
Pooches are playful...and sorta crazy, too, but ya gotta love 'em. Simple, rhyming text looks like it's slapped haphazardly on the page with a paintbrush (it's hand-lettered). This matches the (hyper)activity of the narrator's two dogs, Fanny and Blue. Little Fanny is white and scruffy while short-haired Blue's "kinda gray." They play with shoes, chase cats, root around in dresser drawers but don't really like to fetch a stick or know any tricks. They do like to lick their master's face, tag along wherever he goes and, at night in bed, sleep right on top of him. Neubecker's digitally rendered illustrations capture the mischief and movement of the two pups in bold strokes. Tying everything together is a bonus CD of the text as performed by the author, and a good thing, too. Deathless verse this ain't; Lithgow's slight, amiable book works best as a read-along for his catchy song. (Picture book. 3-6)