Reviews for Dogs
Booklist Reviews 2010 March #2
Canine fever sets in quickly: the endpapers depict a lineup of breeds you're about to meet, the dedication is being dragged away by a mutt, and the imprint information is arrayed in the shape of a bone. So there's no doubting Gravett's first line when we finally reach it: "I love dogs." The two-page spreads that follow illustrate in loving watercolor various sets of opposites: "I love slow dogs / and fast dogs. / Shabby / and chic dogs." For big/small, Gravett shows an enormous Marmaduke look-alike nosing a tiny Chihuahua. For barking/quiet, a runt yips (illustrated effectively with multicolored dashes) while two floppy-eared larger dogs wince and paw at their ears. Most evocative are the layouts for hairy/bald (the page is obscured by the small slashes representing the floating hair of the shedding pooch) and good/bad (featuring two dogs, each holding a house slipper but with dramatically different results). Though the closing revelation that the narrator is a cat is unnecessary, this is a wonderfully warmhearted ode to four-legged friends.
Horn Book Guide Reviews 2010 Fall
Full of humor, energy, and affection, Gravett's illustrations use various dog breeds to highlight the difference between large and small, tough and soft, hairy and bald, stripy and spotty, and so on. The rhyming text is disarmingly simple and perfectly paced, and a final page-turn yields a satisfying surprise: the narrator is revealed to be... a cat. Copyright 2010 Horn Book Guide Reviews.
Kirkus Reviews 2010 February #2
"I love dogs," states an unseen narrator at the beginning of this winningly simple opposites book. Utilizing the same color scheme--a gray-and-sepia palette on cream stock with only occasional, judicious touches of color--that she employed in Monkey and Me (2008), Gravett presents readers with an endearing collection of canines. This narrator is decidedly catholic in taste: "I love big dogs / and small dogs. // I love tough dogs / and soft dogs. // I love dogs that bark / and dogs that don't." With one pair of opposites per spread, there's plenty of room for the illustrator's signature whimsy. The big/small spread features an amiable Great Dane gazing benignly down at a tiny Chihuahua between his front paws. Good/bad shows two dogs with markedly different approaches to their master's slippers. All in all, it's a pleasingly goofy cast of characters that begs the question, is there any kind of dog this narrator does not like? The last spread reveals the identity of the narrator--which, in classic Gravett fashion, will make readers chuckle and then rethink the entire book that preceded it. (Picture book. 4-8) Copyright Kirkus 2010 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.
Publishers Weekly Reviews 2010 January #4
As simple as its title and clever from the start--the copyright page text is arranged in the shape of a bone--Gravett's (Spells) ode to canines riffs on a single note: "I love dogs." Following that opening, an unseen narrator elaborates on a wide spectrum of beloved dogs. On the list are dogs large and small, ones that bark and those that don't, dogs that are slow or fast, and those that are hairy or bald. Exemplifying the different characteristics and behaviors are portraits of various breeds (identified on the endpapers) in emotionally evocative, gently humorous poses and situations. A "chic" pink poodle sporting a jeweled collar and hair bows peers with disdain at a "shabby" pooch with matted fur, who stands on an overturned garbage can. And two small dogs wear the nervous expressions of shy children as a pair of rowdy "dogs that play" tear into a stuffed dachshund. Gravett saves the most entertaining image for last, when the narrator's identity is revealed in a kid-pleasing finale. Ages 2-6. (Feb.) [Page 116]. Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal Reviews 2010 March
PreS-Gr 1--Dogs, like dinosaurs, are a surefire draw for young children, and this eponymously named picture book is bound to delight canine lovers. On the cover, a large, winsomely drawn hound, leash in mouth and begging to go out, irresistibly invites young readers to pick up the book and start turning the pages. In minimal, rhyming text, an unidentified narrator describes its favorite kinds of dogs--big, small, stripy, spotty, tough, and soft--and, along the way, offers a subtle lesson in the meaning of opposites. Expressive pencil drawings, overlaid with soft washes of watercolor on creamy stock, waggishly animate more than a dozen varieties of dogs, including an enormous, protective Great Dane; a soft and squishy bichon frise; and an energetic Dalmatian. (The endpapers identify the types of dogs portrayed.) The surprise ending reveals the identity of the narrator--a cat, which qualifies "favorite" as any hound that doesn't chase it. The pacing of the simple text and scale of the drawings lend this title equally well to preschool storytimes, lap-sharing, and emerging-reader fans of Biscuit and Dog and Bear. A winner.--Kathleen Finn, St. Francis Xavier School, Winooski, VT [Page 119]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.