From School Library Journal
Grade 1–3—Sylver and Smith have created the perfect browsable title about that quintessential kid food. Full of easily digestible information bites, the book takes a peek at the beginnings of these sausage tubes in ancient Rome, but really gets into the gustatory story when the hot dog hits America's shores in the 19th century. The book also loads up readers with sidebar tidbits that include riddles, stats, hot-dog nomenclature, condiment news, contests, and more. The goofy, full-color retro cartoons match the frenetic pace of the text with food, people, and critters flying, jumping, and careering across the pages. Kids who have a hunger for some facts on hot dogs will definitely want to savor this book.—Marge Loch-Wouters, La Crosse Public Library, WI
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The fact that there is so much argument about who made the first hot dog says a lot about its appeal. (If you say “frank,” you're siding with the Frankfurt, Germany, contingent; if you say “wiener,” you're making the folks in Vienna, Austria, happy.) This zany picture book takes eaters—that is, readers—through the snack's journey from Roman pig-intestine delicacy to its modern ubiquity at ball parks, cookouts, and dinner tables. Key for the American audience is the nineteenth-century immigration that led to dog stands gaining popularity in hot spots like Coney Island. Sidebars patterned with a retro-cool look clash with the Mad magazine–style cartoon art, but the visual chaos is intentional and plays into the mustard-stained mitts of the target audience. Fun facts fly fast and furious: L.A. is America's dog-hungriest city; the wiener equivalent at South African sporting events is beetroot salad. Also included are regional dog differences (get that ketchup off my Chicago Dog!), the rise of the veggie dog, recipes, and plenty of mouth-watering photos. Don't read before lunch. Grades K-3. --Daniel Kraus