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A Small Brown Dog with a Wet Pink Nose Hardcover – January 1, 2010
From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 3—Amelia wants a dog. When her persistent requests are repeatedly denied, she begins to pretend that she has a dog named "Bones," and gradually her mother and father go along with the game. Then, when her pet "gets lost," there is nothing for them to do but help Amelia find him. The search leads to an animal shelter and a real Bones to take home. The final spread, "Amelia's Guide to Getting Your First Dog," dispels any doubt that the child's actions were deliberate. Amelia is an endearing character, and Hunter's portrayal of her perfectly matches Stuve-Bodeen's text. The digitally enhanced, cheery pictures are airy and use simple shapes and colors. The almost comic-book format takes the eye quickly from one part of the page to another, leading readers through the story. This title is a good choice for a one-on-one read-aloud or for children to enjoy on their own.—Donna Cardon, Provo City Library, UT
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Rarely have children been offered such a devious strategy for landing a mutt. Amelia’s daily refrain is unusually specific: “May I have a small brown dog with a wet pink nose?” She has doggy scrapbooks, doggy slippers, and even doggy diagrams (complete with arrows indicating both the animal’s smallness as well as the pinkness of its nose). Her parents gamely answer her questions about naming, walking, feeding, and sleeping with a dog, and they even admit that if a dog was lost, they’d look for it. The next day, Amelia acts as if an invisible dog now lives with them. Illustrated with dotted lines, this pretend pooch then gets “lost,” at which point Amelia convinces her parents to search for him at the animal shelter . . . and you can see where this is headed. The concepts are complicated but clear, and Hunter’s patterned illustrations are appropriately unpredictable, with nearly every page design different from the last. Plenty for kids to pore over while hatching their insidious plots. Grades K-2. --Daniel Kraus
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This second grader was correct, no question. If the story leaves any doubts, the end-paper of the hard-bound copy removes them, since it makes it quite clear that Amelia's plan to trick her parents into getting a dog was calculatingly premeditated and not just a serendipitous discovery.
I still enjoyed the story and the moral issues wouldn't stop me from reading it to a child. The artwork is a delight and the story is fun to read aloud. But I recommend only doing so when you're in a position to have a real conversation about Amelia's actions, and I would not read this to a child already struggling with honesty issues. I won't be buying this one at our book fair and I don't recommend it as a present, since I suspect many parents may have more qualms about it than I do.
This book is a fun, witty work of fiction. My 5yr old thought is was hilarious once she put all the peices together. Although it's about tricking your parents, I still went ahead and purchased it. I think it will be a fun read for mother/daughter time.