My Dog Thinks I'm a Genius


Louie loves watching his young master paint, and when the boy puts his finishing touches on a particularly good self-portrait, Louie barks enthusiastically. One day, when the boy is at school, Louie tries his own paw at painting a still life. Is this purely an accident, or is Louie a "genius," just like his master?

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Louie loves watching his young master paint, and when the boy puts his finishing touches on a particularly good self-portrait, Louie barks enthusiastically. One day, when the boy is at school, Louie tries his own paw at painting a still life. Is this purely an accident, or is Louie a "genius," just like his master?

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Praise for Extraordinary Pets

"The gatefold punch lines are unexpected and often deliciously loony...Barroux's powers of persuasion should have readers considering the fun, if not the practicality, of the purchase of a penguin." - Publishers Weekly

School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—A simple boy-and-his-dog story gets an artistic twist when both enjoy painting. The boy shows how his pup helps him complete his latest picture before he heads to school. While he's away, Louie, mad at being left alone, spends some time making what first seems to be a mess, but in the end turns out to be a brilliant painting (inspired by Cézanne's Still Life with Fruit Basket). Both the text and illustrations are true to the voice of an eight-year-old boy. The pictures on the wall, including a dragon and a clown, certainly look like the work of a child. The colors in the illustrations are perfectly suited to the story. The muted grays in some spreads serve to highlight the bright colors of the youngster's artwork. In one scene, as the boy is looking for his pet, the scene is in mostly gray and black with one bright multicolored rectangle showing a peek in at the studio. As the boy yells, "Louie, if you messed with my paints, you're going to the yard for a time-out!" readers see a contrite canine peering out of the studio door. By the end of the story, the boy realizes that his dog is a genius, too. Share this book as an introduction to art, or simply as a sweet dog story.—Laura Stanfield, Campbell County Public Library, Ft. Thomas, KY
Kirkus Reviews

Boy and dog share the utter pleasure of creating art.

"I need to paint and draw every day," explains a round-headed kid with pencil-hatched hair in this sweet, carefully composed paean to creativity. When he paints a gray building, Barroux's composition mimics that shape in the foreground as a table spotlighting art supplies. Swaths of textured paint and pencil lines feature throughout. Companion Louie, a white dog with a long body, long muzzle and tiny legs, insists upon being depicted in his owner's work. After the boy leaves for school, Louie explodes from art subject to artist. In two consecutive full-bleed spreads, Louie dashes back and forth, racing through paint and leaving footprints, squeezing paint tubes and holding brushes in his mouth. He's so busy that he appears four times on each exuberant spread, covered in splotches, streaking paint everywhere. Returning home, the boy stands atop a beige staircase and peers towards a black wall, where the studio door is propped open by a (now multi-hued) dog. The mostly unseen him background inside the studio glows with color. Louie's chef-d'œuvre evokes Cézanne (explained in an author's note). Only a loose close-up of the Cézanne homage actually appears, but its freely casual vibe combines with the childlike skill level of the boy's own paintings to prevent readers from feeling insecure in their own attempts. This is about enthusiastic process, not product.

Have the easels handy; inspiration is inevitable. (author's note) (Picture book. 3-6)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781609050597
  • Publisher: Blue Apple Books
  • Publication date: 9/13/2011
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 1,466,638
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.80 (w) x 11.10 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Harriet Ziefert is the author of many children's books. The mother of two and grandmother of five, she lives in South Orange, New Jersey. The author lives in South Orange, NJ.

Barroux studied photography, art, sculpture, and architecture in France at the famous École Estienne and École Boule. He went on to work as an art director in Paris and Montreal. While in Canada, Barroux began illustrating by creating linocut images, and he is now well known for his children's book illustrations.

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