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Thursday, January 22, 2015

Shoe Dog, story by Megan McDonald and pictures by Katherine Tillotson. Atheneum Books for Young Readers, Simon & Schuster. 2014. $19.99 ages 4 and up

She, Herself said.

That night,
Shoe Dog slept
at the bottom
of the Big Bed.
She did not give Shoe Dog
one ear scratch or head pat.
Not one tummy rub.
Not a single nose kiss."

When your new owner loves shoes, and you are a shoe-loving dog, you might expect there will be some issues. So, it will come as no surprise to young readers that it doesn't take long for Shoe Dog to start doing what he does best:
"That very day,
Shoe Dog chewed through
five high heels,
four flip-flops,
three sneakers,
two boots,
one wing tip."

It is not an auspicious beginning for the two. She, Herself, quickly makes her irritation known. Shoe Dog sleeps 'at the bottom of the Big Bed.' There are no special considerations for a dog who gets himself into so much trouble.

New shoes hold real appeal. They are soon ruined and Shoe Dog must deal with the consequences, despite the fact that they make him very unhappy. And, it happens again the very next day:

"That night,
Shoe Dog slept
on the cold, cold floor
with only a mop
for a friend."

Nothing seems to discourage his incorrigible habit. He tries to be good. He fights the urge to chew anything for a while. Then, when a bright new bag full of boxes and noisy papers makes an appearance, all of his resolve disappears. A surprise assures a change in behavior and peace is restored.

It is a story told with whimsy and love for a charmer of a dog whose crayoned, coiled body will have you totally enamored with his bouncy demeanor and boundless energy.  Perfect for reading aloud with its expressive text and onomatopoeic fun, kids will beg to hear it again as soon as the first reading is done.

You go, Shoe Dog!

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