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Saturday, January 10, 2015

I'M MY OWN DOG, written and illustrated by David Ezra Stein. Candlewick Press, Random House. 2014. $18.00 ages 3 and up

"Every morning when
I look in the mirror, I
lick my own face
because I am so happy
to see me.

I say, "GOOD DOG.

Does the world need a new book about dogs and their owners? Any self-respecting dog (and its  owner) is sure to answer in the affirmative. When the book is written and illustrated by the incomparable (and droll) David Ezra Stein, it is a certainty, even without canine approval.

You will be reading this book for weeks, every chance you can get. I don't think you will tire of sharing it for a long while. It is just too funny and full of bravado. I was drawn to it by the self-assured bulldog that graces the cover. You might remember that my granddogs are English bulldogs!
While Percy and Eddie like being taken care of, this dog narrator is pretty proud of his ability to take care of himself, no assistance needed.

He knows how to roll over, fetch a stick, scratch where it itches ... until he doesn't. When he can't quite reach the spot that is most itchy,  a nearby human solves the problem and then follows him home. The dog could not be happier. To celebrate, he adopts the little man, shows him how to play, follow instructions and be a friend. Life could not be much better than that!

"So I got a leash. How else am I
supposed to lead him around?
"COME ON!" I say. "COME ON, BOY!

There are some annoying issues; but, life with a friend is better than without him.

Kids will be rolling in the aisles as they carefully watch the artwork that accompanies the dog's assertions of the training he does for his human, and will beg for the book to be read again and again!
If you don't LOVE David Ezra Stein's work, you should! If you have not read any of his books, hustle to the nearest library or bookstore and prepare to spend countless hours sharing his stories with your kids. It will be SOOO worth it!

This is an absolutely joyful read! Kids and parents will be glad to share it time and again.

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