I'm the Best

( 1 )

Overview

A boastful dog gets a taste of his own medicine in a tale about friendship that features the bold, exuberant art of Lucy Cousins at its best.

"I win! I’m the best!" Dog boasts. He can run faster than Mole, dig better than Goose, swim faster than Donkey, and he’s much bigger than Ladybug. He wins! Unfortunately, Dog’s nonstop bragging is starting to make his friends feel kind of sad. But what if they mixed things up and looked at them differently? Could they teach Dog a lesson — and remind him of what it means to ...

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Overview

A boastful dog gets a taste of his own medicine in a tale about friendship that features the bold, exuberant art of Lucy Cousins at its best.

"I win! I’m the best!" Dog boasts. He can run faster than Mole, dig better than Goose, swim faster than Donkey, and he’s much bigger than Ladybug. He wins! Unfortunately, Dog’s nonstop bragging is starting to make his friends feel kind of sad. But what if they mixed things up and looked at them differently? Could they teach Dog a lesson — and remind him of what it means to be a best friend?

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Dog and his friends live in a world of exuberant color, full of splashes and splatters, but Dog himself can be a little tiresome. Ladybug, Mole, Goose, and Donkey suffer patiently through his everlasting boasting: he can run faster than Mole, dig better than Goose, and outdo the other two as well. Cousins (Yummy) conveys the mixed feelings Dog's big talk creates: “I feel sad,” says Donkey. “Me, too,” agrees Goose. “Actually...” Mole says, “I can dig holes much longer and much deeper than you, Dog. So I win. I'm the best.” Sure enough, when the tables are turned, all the animals can top Dog in some way. Stung, Dog has a low moment (“I'm just a silly show-off”) and apologizes. The friends embrace and comfort him (“you are the best at having beautiful fluffy ears”), and in no time, Dog is off again (“Obviously having beautiful fluffy hears is the most important thing. So I AM the best”), his true temperament reasserting itself. Dog's reversion to type will evoke either one last giggle or a groan, but the message hits. Ages 2-5. (May)
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
A cavorting dog happily announces, "I'm Dog, and I'm the best." He introduces his "great" friends Ladybug, Mole, Goose, and Donkey, but still insists that he's the best. He can run faster than mole, dig holes better than Goose, swim better than Donkey, and is much bigger than Ladybug. So he's the best "at everything." But his friends feel sad, until Mole demonstrates that he can dig longer and deeper, so he's the best. Then Duck declares he can swim faster; and Donkey is much bigger. Ladybug reminds Dog that he can fly higher. "In fact, you don't even have wings. So I win. I'm the best." Dog then cries that he is sorry for being mean. But they reassure him that he is best at being their best friend, and also has beautiful fluffy ears. They love him and he is content, or almost. The cover with its hand lettering, exuberant splashes of color, and dancing dog in checked shorts sets the stage for the positive message of the simple story. The animal characters, dressed in colorful clothes and roughly produced in pencil and splashes of colored ink, sprawl across the double pages in minimalist settings. The lesson for youngsters is an important one. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1—Jaunty in rainbow-plaid pants, Dog discovers ways to compete with each of his friends. However, he quickly learns that although he swims better than Donkey, Goose is the best swimmer, and Donkey wins the height contest. Finally devastated by his inferiority and shamed by the shabby way he's treated his pals, the orange pup apologizes to Ladybug, Mole, Goose, and Donkey. During a group hug, they kindly assure him that he's the best at having "beautiful fluffy ears. And we love you." The story ends with Dog confident that his talent is the most important of all, so, in fact, he is still "the best." As always, Cousins invigorates her cartoons with color and charm. Her splotches and whirls convey depth and movement. The simply drawn characters have a comic flair and, like Ladybug in her tutu, beguile upon first glance. This well-told tale of competitive obsession belongs in all collections.—Gay Lynn Van Vleck, Henrico County Library, Glen Allen, VA
Kirkus Reviews
Jubilant colors buoy this profile of a braggart. "I'm the best," announces an orange-and-red canine, three limbs raised gleefully. Competition with his pals (Ladybug, Mole, Goose and Donkey) trumps fondness: "I love them. They're great, but I'm the best." Dog trumpets, "I win. I'm the best," after each victory-all rigged via selection of competitor. Of course Dog digs holes better than Goose and swims better than Donkey, but what if hole-digging were matched against Mole and swimming against Goose? The new winners are each best at something, while sore loser Dog sobs that he's "horrible at everything" and was "mean to my friends." He apologizes; they assure him he's the best at "being our best friend" and "having beautiful fluffy ears." Apparently you can't teach an old Dog new tricks, though, for braggadocio gets the last word: "Oh, phew! Obviously having beautiful fluffy ears is the most important thing. So I AM the best." Relish Cousins's lusciously vibrant, liquid-textured inks and the thick pencil lines that boldly match the boasting. (Picture book. 3-5)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780763663483
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press
  • Publication date: 3/26/2013
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 730,705
  • Age range: 2 - 5 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.90 (w) x 9.60 (h) x 0.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Lucy Cousins
Lucy Cousins is the author-illustrator of many books for children, including HOORAY FOR FISH!, YUMMY: EIGHT FAVORITE FAIRY TALES, and the wildly popular Maisy series. Lucy Cousins’s books have sold more than 20 million copies worldwide. She lives in Hampshire, England.
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