Review of I’m My Own Dog

stein im my own dog Review of I’m My Own DogI’m My Own Dog
by David Ezra Stein; 
illus. by the author
Preschool, Primary    Candlewick    32 pp.
8/14    978-0-7636-6139-7    $15.99

“I’m my own dog. Nobody owns me. I own myself.” This independent, self-starter narrator looks down on ordinary pups, the ones owned by people. This dog will not sit for anyone, even if a bone is the reward. But one day, when his legs prove to be too short to reach an itchy spot in the middle of his back, our canine actually lets someone scratch it. That someone is a mustachioed man who scratches the dog’s back and then follows him home. Soon the dog is taking his “good boy” on walks, teaching him about chasing squirrels, and showing him how to throw sticks. Stein’s gestural watercolors are the perfect foil for the droll text. As the story unfolds, young readers will begin to understand the humorous tension between what the text says and what the pictures show (and what they know to be true about dogs and their owners). When the dog complains about having to “clean up after them,” one can imagine a child laughing at the scene of spilled ice cream. Dog-loving parents will be reading this one over and over — and will never tire of it.

From the September/October 2014 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

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Robin Smith About Robin Smith

Robin Smith is a second-grade teacher at the Ensworth School in Nashville, Tennessee. She is a reviewer for Kirkus and The Horn Book Magazine and has served on multiple award committees.

Comments

  1. His Caldecott Honor winning INTERRUPTING CHICKEN is of course one of the premier read-aloud picture books of recent years and it never fails to induce many first and second-graders to utter “Read it again, pleeeeese!” We are big dog lovers -two dogs and a pug at present- and I am thrilled to hear such sentiments will bolster a reading of this seemingly-delightful new addition by a formidable talent in children’s books. The fun will start next Saturday when we secure out copy at Mr. Stein book launching in Brooklyn: :)

    Lovely review!

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