Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Review - Bad Dog

Bad Dog
by Mike Boldt
Date: 2019
Publisher: Doubleday Books
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 40
Format: e-book
Source: library

The differences between cats and dogs have never been funnier! In this hilarious new story from the illustrator of I Don't Want to Be a Frog, a little girl really, really wants a dog... but gets a cat instead!

"Look what I got for my birthday! A pet dog!" says a little girl holding a... cat? Rocky doesn't listen or obey like all the other dogs. (Because Rocky is a cat.) And Rocky hates her leash and doesn't seem to like other dogs. (Probably because Rocky is a cat.) And rather than play fetch, Rocky prefers to... lick between her toes? Ew. Rocky is a bad "dog"! BUT Rocky doesn't bark, and is so cute when she sleeps in sunny spots. Maybe Rocky IS a good dog? (Or, you know, maybe Rocky is a cat.)

Cat lovers and dog lovers alike will howl with laughter at this little girl's willful insistence that her cat is a dog. The hilarious ways in which cats and dogs are different are brilliantly illuminated with each turn of the page and will leave young readers and their grown-ups giggling.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

This adorably illustrated book is about a little girl who asks for a dog for her birthday and gets one... sort of. Rocky isn't like most dogs: she doesn't like to go for walks, she won't obey commands, and she really doesn't like water. The girl concludes that Rocky's a pretty bad dog. But there are some things about Rocky that aren't so bad, either: she doesn't bark at the mailman and she doesn't chew up the girl's toys. Eventually, the kid concludes that Rocky would make a pretty good cat... without ever seeming to realize the actual species of her new pet!

The story is cute enough, but the illustrations are what make this book so appealing. The style is both cartoonish and detailed, and both cat and child are adorable. (The girl actually reminds me a bit of Disney's Lilo.) The facial expressions are precious, and show Rocky at her mischievous best.

I think kids (as well as adults) will enjoy this one. Books like this that tell one story with the text and another with the illustrations can be really effective if done well. And this one is.

Quotable moment:

Premise: 4/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 4/5
Illustrations: 5/5
Originality: 4/5

Enjoyment: 5/5

Overall: 4.5 out of 5

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