From the creator of Blue's Clues...Discovering that sometimes you have to be a little bad to be very good, Tako the puppy makes a brave choice in this adventure tale and proves that heroes come in all shapes and sizes. When 8-year-old Ricky Lee finds a puppy on the side of the road, he takes him home and names him Tako. Ricky’s mom and dad agree to let Tako stay under one condition: he must be a good dog who always follows the rules—or it’s off to the pound he goes. Tako wants more than anything to be a good dog and stay with Ricky, but when the Lees open Happy Family Bakery and a competing store owner sets out to sabotage the shop, Tako has to break the rules to protect Ricky and his family.
About the Author
Todd Kessler is the cocreator of the highly successful children’s television series Blue’s Clues. His artistic and innovative creations have garnered him the Peabody Award, seven Emmy nominations, two Television Critics Association awards, five Parent’s Choice awards, first place in the children’s division of the Toronto International Film Festival, and a New York Film Festival Cine Golden Eagle. He lives in Los Angeles. Jennifer Gray Olson is an illustrator who enjoys creating funny and offbeat characters. She is the author and illustrator of Ninja Bunny. She lives in Corona, California.
Read an Excerpt
The little puppy was curled up in a box by the side of the road. He was cold and afraid. A boy on a bike came zooming down the hill and ran into the box. "You look like you need a home," said the boy, "and I need a puppy. It's good luck that I crashed into you!" The boy put the puppy inside his jacket and rode home. The wind whipped in the puppy’s face as he peeked out. They were going so fast! But the puppy wasn’t afraid anymore. He felt warm and safe close to the boy. The boy’s name was Ricky Lee. His mother Mimi Lee looked sternly at the puppy. “If he’s a good dog, he can stay,” she said. “But if he’s a bad dog, he will go to the dog pound.” “The pound is where bad dogs go when nobody wants them anymore,” explained Ricky’s father Papi Lee. "He will be a good dog,” Ricky promised. “I’m going to call him Tako.” Papi Lee gave Tako a piece of warm smushberry muffin right from the oven. It was the most delicious thing Tako had ever tasted. As he munched on the muffin, Tako decided he would be a good dog, so he could stay with the Lee family forever. But it wasn’t always easy to be a good dog. Sometimes Tako found a slipper that needed chewing—or honey-butter batter that needed licking—or a clothesline that needed tugging. And sometimes on rainy days Ricky became a monster, and Tako needed to bark at him, which woke the twins Mia and Lia from their nap. Then Mimi and Papi Lee would say, “Bad dog!” And Tako would get very still and quiet because he did not want to be sent to the pound.
What People are Saying About This
This heroic canine adventure is a powerful testament to the incredible human-animal bond. Readers of all ages will delight in discovering the tale of Tako and Ricky and will find themselves inspired by their triumphant friendship.
Children and adults alike will enjoy cheering for little Tako, a dog who reminds us that sometimes the "bad" dogs turn out to be the best -- if we believe in them and listen closely.
Everyone likes a good story. You have to think for yourself. Taking risks is scary but can have a big payoff.
These common sense statements are at the heart of a new children's book, The Good Dog (Greenleaf Book Group Press). They are also central to its author, Todd Kessler, a creator of the game-changing children's television show Blue's Clues.
Kessler said he hopes that Good Dog will have the same kind of transformative effect on children's books, literacy and our concept of their understanding and learning abilities that Blue's Clues did for children's television.
“The original concept of kids as TV viewers … hugely underestimated kids' ability to understand,” said Dan Anderson, a professor emeritus of psychology at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst whose pioneering research on children and media was part of the basis for the innovations in Blue's Clues. “In various kinds of industries that deal with kids, very often they'll base things on what's been recently successful and not on principled ideas of what kids want and can understand.”