From the Publisher
"Sit, Carl. Quiet, Clifford. Move over, Mudge. Make room for Truman."--Kirkus Reviews
[star] "The Mosers' adoration of dogs is evident in their uncluttered, totally delightful watercolors that catch every bit of humor."--Booklist (starred review)
[star] "One of the most engaging pooches to hit picture books since Alexandra Day's Carl, the mastiff Truman is one big bundle of affection and drool."--Publishers Weekly (starred review)
One of the most engaging pooches to hit picture books since Alexandra Day's Carl, the mastiff Truman is one big bundle of affection and drool. The compelling cover (an irresistibly expressive head shot) makes it clear that Truman is no ordinary pup, while the opening scene confirms it: "Truman, sit!" accompanies an illustration of the humongous pooch attempting to shake paws instead. The trio that engineered Telling Time with Big Mama Cat quickly sets the stage for entertainment with such props as a "Super Slobber" water bowl and drool rags. Whether poking his head into the mailbox ("Sorry, Truman, nothing for you") or standing guiltily next to a toilet ("Truman, that is not your water bowl"), it's abundantly evident that Truman is a handful. Equally fetching is Truman's tiny companion pup, Oscar, who adds comic relief in the form of contrast (such as the giant hero's bemused attempt to fit into Oscar's bed). Harper's wry, minimal text plays straight man to the father-daughter Moser team's illustrations, a series of exquisitely pellucid watercolors that wring every ounce of humor (and moisture) from Truman and his exploits. This winning tale should enthrall a wide range of ages, from (human) lap-sitters to canine-crazy adults. Ages 3-7. (Sept.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Truman the mastiff dominates the cover and the single and double-pages here, just the way a dog like him seems to take over the life of his owners. The brief commands that make up the text, from the title and "stop drooling" to "heel" and "good boy," take us through Truman's day as he learns not to drink from the toilet and finally, to share with his small doggy housemate, while being the loving companion to the family. Moser's mostly double-page watercolors describe the assorted canine capers with his usual deft vision and a touch of humor. Amidst only the faintest of contextual detail, Truman fills each scene with his tan, muscled body and rumpled black face, frequently adrip with doggy drool; a vital personality and the obvious star of the story. 2001, Harcourt, $16.00. Ages 3 to 6. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-Harper's minimal text and the Mosers' watercolor paintings are perfectly paired. Slobbery canine Truman is both exasperating and lovable. A number of exclamations and commands are aimed at this very large and rambunctious pet. The line, "Truman, that is not your water bowl" is illustrated by a picture of the dog drooling over the toilet, and will have young children laughing or cringing. "Oscar is not a toy" accompanies an illustration of the huge creature clutching his tiny canine companion in his paws. On another page, a young girl desperately holds her ice-cream cone above her head as the dog's master exhorts, "No snacks today, Truman." The ubiquitous drool rags and Truman's overwhelming frame emphasize the demands and joys of owning a large dog. The absence of the owner's shoulders and face from the paintings and the neutral background colors in the full-page artwork suggest that those who do own such a pet should be prepared to have their houses, and perhaps even their lives, taken over. Readers who enjoy Alexandra Day's "Carl" books (Farrar) will be pleased to find another irresistible canine in the same class. A delight to share with children.-Alison Kastner, Multnomah County Library, Portland, OR Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
The Moser father-and-daughter illustration team collaborates again with author Harper (Cara's husband) on their second family effort inspired by a beloved family pet (Telling Time with Big Mama Cat, 1998). In this uncomplicated, episodic story, Truman is a huge, drooling Mastiff who rules the household. He lives with his tiny canine companion, Oscar, and their kind but rather ineffectual male owner, an anonymous grownup whose face is never seen in the illustrations. The owner's commands (and pleadings) make up the short text, with the owner urging Truman to sit, share with Oscar, go for a walk, and get out of the owner's bed. Large watercolor illustrations and the oversized format show Truman and Oscar in lots of playful or amusing situations, but there really isn't much of a plot beyond Truman's drooling and his disinclination to obey his owner. But don't underestimate the drawing power of simple stories about large dogs, as this combination seems to have endless appeal to young children. The final words in the story-"Good boy, Truman"-bring to mind another large, dark dog that did quite well with his own series of books with minimalist plots. Sit, Carl. Quiet, Clifford. Move over, Mudge. Make room for Truman. (Picture book. 3-6)