From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 2–A mildly entertaining tale of a basset hound named Fred and his blue-ribbon-obsessed owner, Harvey. Readers are swept away to the Bonesport dog show, which features competitions of every sort, e.g., black dogs, still dogs, active dogs. The man enters his pet in all applicable events–with no success–but pins his hopes on the costume contest, for which they are awarded honorable mention. Dejected and defeated, he is about to leave when Fred drags him to the final competition, "Dogs Who Look Like Their Owners," and they take a blue ribbon at last. The colorful and quirky acrylic illustrations set the pace as they vary from full spreads to small vignettes interspersed between paragraphs. Some odd details–the baseball paintings on Harvey's wall, the wagging "lion's tail" on his costume, etc., may intrigue some readers but baffle others. The story reads well aloud, employing carefully measured rhyme, repetition, and dialogue. But while events move steadily forward, suspense is minimal and the conclusion is less than obvious–Harvey in his lion costume and basset hound, Fred, hardly look alike. Fred Gwynne's Easy to See Why
(S & S, 1993) is a more easily grasped treatment of the same notion and has more child appeal.–Carol Ann Wilson, Westfield Memorial Library, NJ
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
"Winthrop weaves a gentle tale about appreciating one's uniqueness and spices it with an air of dry wit. Ulriksen, in his picture book debut, matches the mood with droll, kickily colored acrylic paintings of man and his best friend. The human portraits pale next to the canine cast, but Fred's wry expressions, relayed via sleepy eyes, low-hanging ears and expressive mouth could well take Best in Show."--Publishers Weekly