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Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Treat, word and pictures by Mary Sullivan. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Raincoast. 2016. $20.99 ages 3 and up

"Treat ...



One word is all it takes ... "

Please tell me that you know Ball (HMH, 2013) by Mary Sullivan. If not, get yourself to the library and check it out for your kids this summer. It is brilliant! And this is its companion - same dog, different obsession, and just as entertaining and smart.

All this plump pooch is after is a treat! His nose leads him from place to place in the house on the hunt for someone to share one with him. First up is a cheerio-munching toddler. Begging doesn't work, nor do tricks to get her to share. It looks like she might share; then, she downs the last bit of cereal without remorse. Same thing happens with a hot dog lunch. Not a crumb remains when the older child leaves the table to pursue an interest in space.

What about the older brother? He's willing to share his drawings and he doesn't have a treat. The fact that the dog awakens Grandma from a nap and hungrily eyes her false teeth in a glass on the nightstand, or that he disturbs Grandpa while brushing his teeth has no affect. He's off to grab the baby's bottle. Only then does he hear someone hollering TREAT and that must mean it's for him! His excitement is quashed when he sees what the toddler has gathered for his dog dish. YUK!

As often happens when you don't get what you so badly want, a nap is plagued by dreams of food, food, food of all kinds, and a nightmare. Is it someone actually shouting the word 'treat' that forces him from sleep? He's off to see ... and delighted to find just exactly what he has been searching for all day long. Ahhh!

There is only one word of text, but the drama is evident on every page. The expressions and body language are hilarious and will have kids chucking at the many antics he employs to satisfy his craving.

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