June 1, 2021
Kids Can Press
Blurb: In a rib-tickling display of duplicity and diversion, a bunny tries to show he has what it takes to be included in this dog book.“How did the bunny get on the cover?”“I don’t know.” “There ARE bunny books, you know.”“I’m not a bunny. I’m a dog.”To get into this dog book, a bunny attempts to prove to some skeptical dogs that he’s one of them. Does he like to run and catch a ball? Of course. Can he use his puppy-dog eyes to get himself out of trouble? Absolutely. Does he smell dog doo-doos? Umm . . . can he get back to that one later? As the bunny answers a succession of questions that run the gamut of a dog’s essential qualities, he does his best to demonstrate his dog credentials. Of course, in the end, a bunny is a bunny, not a dog. The real question is, does it have to matter?Written entirely in dialogue, this playful picture book story highlights Judith Henderson’s signature mix of dry and silly humor. On the surface, this is a giggle-inducing crowd-pleaser. But in ultimately deciding that it’s what’s on the inside that really counts, the deeper character education messages of kindness and inclusiveness give the book lots of heart. Julien Chung’s simple yet high-energy drawings of mostly thick black lines with splashes of red are a perfect complement to the snappy text and manage to convey a world of emotion. There are excellent lessons here on identity, community and belonging. This story would be great fun for children to act out.
Just by the cover depicting a bunny in a Where’s Waldo-style shirt and the title exclaiming, “This Is a Dog Book!” you know you are going to be for a fun experience and author Judith Henderson doesn’t let us down. The illustrations by Julien Chung are very cute.
The story is simple. What looks like a bunny but is claiming to be a dog wants to be in the dog book. So the dogs ask him all kinds of dog-oriented questions. Bunny momentarily gets stuck on the “smelling poop” part of the program. If you’ve ever walked a dog where people do not clean up after their dogs, you know that your dog is going to find that “delicacy.”
The one very important question that arises is: are you a good friend? Thus the moral of this story. You may look or be different, but as long as you can be a good friend, you can join us. A lovely message that needs sharing.
This Is a Dog Book! is geared toward 4-7 year olds.
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
5 out of 5 butterflies