Love That Puppy!: The Story of a Boy Who Wanted to Be a Dog

Love That Puppy!: The Story of a Boy Who Wanted to Be a Dog

by Jeff Jarka
     
 

Peter is an ordinary boy . . . at first. Then one day he decides to become a dog. He loves to play fetch. He can bark like no one's business. And just look at him chase that mailman!

But while Peter is good at being a dog, he is not always a good dog. What's a puppy to do when his mother and father want their human son back? Luckily, Peter comes up with a

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Overview

Peter is an ordinary boy . . . at first. Then one day he decides to become a dog. He loves to play fetch. He can bark like no one's business. And just look at him chase that mailman!

But while Peter is good at being a dog, he is not always a good dog. What's a puppy to do when his mother and father want their human son back? Luckily, Peter comes up with a solution that should make everyone happy.

Jeff Jarka's debut is part picture book, part comic book, and completely charming.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Even the youngest listeners will have a howling good time.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Children will appreciate both the absurdity of Peter's behavior and Jarka's delivery. Every collection needs lighthearted fare with strong boy appeal, and Love That Puppy! fits the bill.” —School Library Journal

“Jarka channels the Cartoon Network aesthetic to the hilt with this debut story of a boy in touch with his inner canine…. The cartooning is good manic fun, and the exaggerated characters…feel grounded in reality. Jarka, unlike W.C. Fields, is clearly someone who loves working with both dogs and small children.” —Publishers Weekly

Publishers Weekly

Jarka channels the Cartoon Network aesthetic to the hilt with this debut story of a boy in touch with his inner canine. Donning a dog costume with huge floppy ears, Peter excitedly sticks his head out the window during car rides, fetches his father's slippers (causing Dad to wonder if maybe there might be an advantage to his son's obsession) and even eats his own homework. Readers will be disappointed that Peter caves to parental pressure in the end ("Maybe he should be a boy again like everyone wanted") and will probably see the easy-out ending coming from a mile away. But the cartooning is good manic fun, and the exaggerated characters, despite their overwrought reactions to almost everything, feel grounded in reality. Jarka, unlike W.C. Fields, is clearly someone who loves working with both dogs and small children. Ages 4-8. (June)

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Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
One day Peter, an ordinary boy, decides to become a dog. Although his parents are not happy about it, Peter enjoys doing doggy things, like sitting up to beg, going for car rides, playing fetch, and learning tricks. Unfortunately he also has some bad habits, like chasing cars and the mailman. His parents ask him to stop being a dog. After thinking it over, Peter agrees, until one day… there is a surprise ending. The amusing story is visualized as a sequence of cartoon images, mostly in traditional small frames but sometimes using a double page for emphasis and large print. Heavy black outlines and flat, opaque colors manipulated in Adobe Photoshop produce comic characters with exaggerated large eyes, four-fingered hands, and solid hair. Check the end pages for the promise of a possible sequel. Parents will hope that readers don't get any ideas from Peter's behavior. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 1

In this ironically titled tale, Peter loves pretending to be a dog, but he annoys his parents and teachers by begging at the dinner table, eating his homework, chewing both the mail and the mailman, and shaking water onto the floor. Mom finally loses it: "BAD DOG!" Peter morosely gives up his canine ways, only to find a new obsession. Jarka's colorful comic-strip-style illustrations drive the humor with one visual joke after another. For example, Peter displays his excellent hearing by showing up just as readers see the cookie box being opened. Touches like Mom's flipped hairdo and Dad's Fred Flintstone-style schnoz give the computer art a retro feel. Children will appreciate both the absurdity of Peter's behavior and Jarka's delivery. Every collection needs lighthearted fare with strong boy appeal, and Love That Puppy! fits the bill.-Jayne Damron, Farmington Community Library, MI

Kirkus Reviews
It's a dog's life for Peter, an ordinary boy-at first. Despite the concerns of his parents, Peter decides to become a dog. He hangs out in a doghouse, begs and even sleeps at the foot of his parents' bed. With cartoonish illustrations and comic-book elements, Peter's story is a series of over-the-top situations that showcase his parents' reactions to his eating out of a dog bowl, fetching slippers and howling at the moon. Peter's father and mother's befuddlement at what to do with their dog . . . er . . . son-even they get confused sometimes-is rendered in appropriately broad comic expressions. Though Jarka's illustrations are an expected blend of silly and goofy (his terrier attack on the mail is priceless), Peter's dog ears are more bunny than pooch, long and upright, and that visual misstep might throw off readers at first. However, once the pages turn and the image imprints, even the youngest listeners will have a howling good time. (Picture book. 4-8)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780805087413
Publisher:
Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Publication date:
05/26/2009
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
8.10(w) x 10.10(h) x 0.30(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author


JEFF JARKA no longer dresses up like a puppy because he is now a full-grown man. He, his wife, Theresa, and their baby boy live in Chicago. Love That Puppy! is his first book.

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