Never Cry Woof!: A Dog-U-Drama

Overview


Jane Wattenberg's sly revival of Aesop's fable proves that you CAN teach an old dog new tricks.

"Do you brag? Do you boast? Think you're hot, buttered toast? Have you ever told a whopper? A glib fib? A lie?"

Unruly Bix and the honorable Hunky-Dory have jobs tending sheep. A growl a day keeps the wolves away, but when a prankster cries "WOOF!", his fellow herders have a bone to pick with him. Will he get away with clean paws, or wind up in the ...

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Overview


Jane Wattenberg's sly revival of Aesop's fable proves that you CAN teach an old dog new tricks.

"Do you brag? Do you boast? Think you're hot, buttered toast? Have you ever told a whopper? A glib fib? A lie?"

Unruly Bix and the honorable Hunky-Dory have jobs tending sheep. A growl a day keeps the wolves away, but when a prankster cries "WOOF!", his fellow herders have a bone to pick with him. Will he get away with clean paws, or wind up in the doghouse?

Jane Wattenberg is at her wacky best in text filled with fetching puns, sublime rhyme, and rockin' rhythm--and a bold new version of her trademark photo-compositions.

Bix, a braggart dog, gets bored while watching sheep and cries wolf to get the other dogs to come to see him, only to find that they are not so ready to come again when he really needs their help.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 2-4-Wattenberg retells Aesop's "The Boy Who Cried Wolf" with a horde of job-hunting pups answering a newspaper ad for "fierce, snarling guard dogs." Leading the cast are reliable Hunky-Dory in his plain brown fedora and boastful Bix with his collection of goofy hats. While Hunky-Dory reads Shepherd's Golden Rules ("Rule #1: Never Cry Wooooof! unless you really need to"), Bix declares that "rules are for fools." He quickly tires of the boring job and lets loose a howl, and the story follows its familiar course until the dog finds himself nose-to-nose with a wolf. Wattenberg's photo collages seem lighter and brighter than those in Henny Penny (Scholastic, 2000), and, like the previous outing, there are plenty of sight gags (such as a "lambulance" and beady-eyed hedges). The overall effect of all the sight gags and puns, along with the garish colors, is overwhelmingly cluttered. The hip-hop banter moves along at a brisk clip, but the humor feels forced in lines like: "Mopey and blue, feeling like glue, BIX called to his flock,/ `Hey fluffballs! Ewe-ram-a-lamb-a-ding-dongs!/ Wanna play HIDE-AND-PEEK?'" The tone of this remake is relentlessly sarcastic, and readers would be best advised to stick with more traditional versions of this tale.-Marilyn Taniguchi, Beverly Hills Public Library, CA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Using the same sort of wild collage and typography that revved up her Henny-Penny (2000), Wattenberg recasts The Boy Who Cried Wolf as a "Dog-U-Drama," featuring an all-canine cast (except for the sheep) photographed in a variety of human headgear and strewn across decidedly unnatural-looking greensward. Responding to a newspaper ad ("Can't Sleep? Count Sheep!"), Bix soon finds respite from the boredom: "Watching fluffballs 24-7 is not the cat's pajamas. It's PARTY time. Catch this: WOOOOOOF!'" Led by Hunky-Dory, the other sheepdogs quickly tire of the sport, leaving Bix on his own when a wolf really does show up. So what does Bix do? "FLEAS LOUISE! What's a lone dog to do when he has a hunch he's lunch? Get UP and R U N !" "What would YOU do?" the author queries readers, after furnishing a last view of the wolf popping whole sheep like popcorn. No explicit moral, but there's a lesson here somewhere. (Fable. 6-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780439216753
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 1/26/2005
  • Pages: 40
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.60 (w) x 11.10 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author


“Photography has been my main passion since I was seventeen. And I always loved children's books. I decided I'd like to put the two together and illustrate books with my photo-collage style. Color, patterns, words, and signs make me zing with pleasure. The power of language is breathtaking. My favorite books are the Thesaurus and Dictionary. What great discoveries we make about others and ourselves by listening to the words we all use.

Books that send me deep into my own thoughts, those that inspire, those that make me laugh, and the ones that never let me go become my favorites. When I am working on my own books, I especially love the times when I make myself laugh!

When I have time, I love to travel, roaming near and far, in local towns and in exotic, far-away lands.”

Jane Wattenberg is the best-selling author/artist of the accordion-style board books Mrs. Mustard's Baby Faces and Mrs. Mustard's Beastly Babies. She has also illustrated many distinguished book jackets including Make Lemonade. In Spring 2000, Scholastic Press published Henny-Penny, her debut picture book. It is a hip-hopping, eye-popping adaptation of the classic story that caused the New York Times Book Review to squawk “YOWZA!” Publishers Weekly raved in a starred review, “this fine feathered picture book ROCKS!”

Her second title with Scholastic Press with Never Cry Woof! A Dog-U-Drama will be published in Spring 2005. Using the her trademark photo-compositions, Jane gives a sly retelling of an Aesop's fable that is filled with waggish puns, sublime rhyme, and rockin' rhythm.

Jane Wattenberg lives in San Francisco with her husband, three sons, chickens, and a dog.

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2005

    holly we lov u

    the boxer is the best!!!!!!!!! we love u holly!!!!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 17, 2005

    Doggone Good

    Jane Wattenberg's retelling of Aesop's fable is brillantly Baaad! And that means good in sheep lingo. Vain, Bix- a dog with movie star aspirations- has an ego that is bound to crash when reality meets fantasy. He just doesn't have what it takes to do the boring work of watching sheep, while Hunky-Dory, a solid hard working dog, just follows the sheep dog's rules. The unfortunate losers are three sheep, while Bix, walks away (we hope) having a bit of a bad conscience that might make him a less self-involved pup. I love this book. Kids love it. You will too!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 1, 2005

    The Boxer Cutie

    I loved the pictures of all the dogs. Especially the boxer. I think Jane did a wonderful job of matching all the dogs. Great book!!

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