Gift Guide

A Small Brown Dog with a Wet Pink Nose


Amelia wants a dog, needs a dog, and believes she simply cannot live without a small brown dog with a wet pink nose. Her parents think she can.

Rather than begging or pleading, Amelia adopts an imaginary dog named Bones. But when Amelia's make-believe pup runs away, her parents are in for a real surprise!

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Amelia wants a dog, needs a dog, and believes she simply cannot live without a small brown dog with a wet pink nose. Her parents think she can.

Rather than begging or pleading, Amelia adopts an imaginary dog named Bones. But when Amelia's make-believe pup runs away, her parents are in for a real surprise!

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Leona Illig
Amelia would like to have a dog. She doesn't want just any dog, but a brown dog with a wet, pink nose. Unfortunately, her parents do not feel ready to have a pet, so Amelia decides to change the conversation. Instead of asking for a dog, she asks if they could name their dog Bones—if they had one. As she asks question after question about their hypothetical dog, Bones begins to take on a life of his own. Amelia and her imaginary dog do everything together, and even her parents begin to act as if Bones really exists. Then, one day, Amelia announces that Bones is lost and that she and her parents need to search for him. They search all the logical places until Amelia asks if they can look for Bones at the animal shelter. There, Amelia sees a brown dog with a wet, pink nose and announces that she has found "Bones." Her amused parents agree, and everyone returns home with Bones. Amelia has a real dog at last. This charming book features a heroine who is as clever as she is persistent and is sure to entertain children and parents alike. At the end of the book, a section entitled "Amelia's Guide to Getting Your First Dog" provides a humorous summary of the book itself. In reinforcing the plot, it ensures that younger children will understand exactly what happened. The illustrations are colorful. Many of the pages are broken into two or four sections, adding visual interest. This is one canine tale sure to please its readers. Reviewer: Leona Illig
Publishers Weekly
Undaunted by her parents' objections (“We're just not ready for a dog”), Amelia develops a plan to acquire a pooch, then works it with finesse. She invents an imaginary dog named Bones (seen in a dotted outline), spends a week coaching her parents through imaginary dog ownership (“Shut the door so Bones won't get out!”), then “loses” him. From there, it's a short trip to the shelter to look for Bones—and, lo and behold, there he is (“[I]f anybody asks, your name is Bones,” she whispers to her dream dog after her parents cave). Though newcomer Hunter's digitally created paper doll–like figures don't attract much visual interest, smart use of small details conveys Amelia's dog-obsessed home life. Inset panels and vignettes liven up the pages, too, along with occasional typographic accents. “We may never be ready, but Amelia certainly is,” says her mother, summing up the loving parental acceptance that Stuve-Bodeen (the Elizabeti's Doll books) captures so nicely. While Amelia's airtight logic might not work in real life, young readers will enjoy participating in her success. Ages 3–6. (Jan.)
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3—Amelia wants a dog. When her persistent requests are repeatedly denied, she begins to pretend that she has a dog named "Bones," and gradually her mother and father go along with the game. Then, when her pet "gets lost," there is nothing for them to do but help Amelia find him. The search leads to an animal shelter and a real Bones to take home. The final spread, "Amelia's Guide to Getting Your First Dog," dispels any doubt that the child's actions were deliberate. Amelia is an endearing character, and Hunter's portrayal of her perfectly matches Stuve-Bodeen's text. The digitally enhanced, cheery pictures are airy and use simple shapes and colors. The almost comic-book format takes the eye quickly from one part of the page to another, leading readers through the story. This title is a good choice for a one-on-one read-aloud or for children to enjoy on their own.—Donna Cardon, Provo City Library, UT
Kirkus Reviews
Of late in picture books it seems that the classic order of children and parents has reversed: Children are the wise ones who fool and rule their elders. Small Amelia wants/needs/must have a pet, specifically the small brown dog of the title. She hypothesizes dog-ownership ideals to which her parents agree and then uses clever ruses to convince them that the hypothetical dog is real-and when it runs away they search and find. Bones, for that is the name Amelia has given it, goes home, although previously they "weren't ready for a dog"-but Amelia is and has been. She's outsmarted her very kindly mother and father, a dog with a wet pink nose has found a home and one may expect they all live happily after. Hunter's colorful and very solid illustrations were done digitally, and line shows emotions, actions and settings in a way that is both reminiscent of Golden Book illustrations and playfully postmodern. This outing should please young readers, especially those for whom a dog is a most important desire-and children rule. (Picture book. 3-6)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780316058308
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
  • Publication date: 1/1/2010
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 737,523
  • Age range: 4 - 7 Years
  • Lexile: AD600L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 10.30 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Stephanie Stuve-Bodeen's is the author of many picture books including Elizabeti's Doll, which earned her the Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Award. She lives in Oregon with her family and large brown dog, Leilani. Visit her Web site at

A graduate of Glasgow University, Linzie Hunter was a theater stage manager before studying illustration at Chelsea College of Art and Design. Originally from Scotland, Linzie now lives in London. Visit her Web site at

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