Customer Review

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Skunk By Any Other Name..., October 25, 2006
This review is from: Big Dog and Little Dog Making a Mistake: Big Dog and Little Dog Board Books (Board book)
I'm glad I've resumed looking board books lately, otherwise I would not have known that Dav PIlkey has a whole series of "Big Dog and Little Dog" books. Slightly older readers know Pilkey as the very, very funny, but scatologically inclined author of the "Captain Underpants" series. These intentionally juvenile forays into elementary school comedy (underwear, toilets, etc.) are more clever than they sound, but they're perhaps inapproproate for young toddlers. They have enough toilet concerns without worrying about them exploding.

"Big Dog and Little Dog Making a Mistake" has an easily understood outer message--some striped animals are skunks, NOT cats, and if you make this mistake, you might come home just as smelly as Big Dog and Little Dog do. Hopefully, when you return you won;t interrupt some hoity-toity social affair, like the tea and cake party that the two dogs spoil!

HOwever, in this 10-page board book, Pilkey conveys some valuable "inner" messages as well. He doesn't preach, but the story and bright, uncluttered pictures tell us some fairly important things, always in an entertaining style manner.

1. Big and little dogs can get along, despite their outer differences.

2. Dogs (and people) can play and explore together, noticing and talking about the same things, rather than just engage in parallel play.

3. Big dogs, just like little dogs, can make mistakes.

4. Little dogs, just like big dogs, can have bad days.

5. One can depict smelly smells by drawing green smudges on your characters, and wavy green lines emanating from them.

5. It's funny to conclude a story with dogs stinking up the joint.

The progression from innocent walk to unexpected skunk encounter, to the party people knocking over the food strewn table when they smell the smelly dogs, is smooth, logical, and funny. The book is a simple winner for infants and toddlers, and fans will want to look at other books in the series. Who knows--when they're older they might even want to read "Captain Underpants" and other small guilty pleasures by the talented Pilkey.
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4.9 out of 5 stars (14 customer reviews)
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M. Allen Greenbaum
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Location: California

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