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Wiener Wolf Hardcover – July 5, 2011

4.7 out of 5 stars 62 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


Crosby (Little Lions, Bull Baiters, & Hunting Hounds) turns in a tight, polished performance in this story of a dachshund that answers the call of the wild (and then redials). Crosby's paintings display a thorough understanding of his hero's boredom--and sense of adventure. Wiener Dog lies belly up in his dog bed, watching as Granny slops another can of wet dog food into his bowl; one can almost hear him groan. So when he runs away and befriends a pack of wolves, life seems ideal. "He had a new backyard and a new water dish and new squeaky toys," Crosby writes as Wiener Dog runs through the forest, drinks from a stream, and tussles with adorable wolf cubs. Ideal, that is, until the climax of the wolves' hunt; it occurs offstage, but is clearly bloody. "Yikes!" says Wiener Dog. Crosby employs an array of techniques in his visual storytelling, from the way Wiener Dog appears to run right out of spot illustrations to the hilarious contrast between the turtleneck sweater wearing dog and the slavering wolves. This wiener's a winner. PW"

"Life with Granny had become too tame" for Wiener Dog, so, inspired by a nature documentary, he takes off to the forest, finds some new lupine companions, sheds his hand-knitted doggie sweater, and becomes Wiener Wolf. That's clearly the life for him, running with the wolf pack and gamboling with the puppies-until he discovers that the pack's energetic chase of the deer isn't just for fun but for food. That's enough to turn Wiener Wolf back into Wiener Dog and send him back home to Granny, his water bowl, and a new sweater (and the occasional outing with the pups in the dog park). While the motivations for the plot turns are somewhat flimsy, the concept of a wee little sausage dog running with the wolves is amusingly incongruous, and the text plays up the contrast in short, punchy phrases. The muddy tones of the thickly painted illustrations prevent Wiener Dog from standing out as he ought to, but his lengthy form has both authenticity and humor on its side, and the fine detailed brushstrokes for fur and foliage provide depth and texture. This would actually be an effective elementary readalone for young fans of the Kevin O'Malley school of sardonic irony, as well as being an enjoyable readaloud tale to kids who understand both the lure of the wild world and the comforts of home. DS BCCB"

Wiener Dog, a sweater-wearing lap dog who lives with Granny, feels that something is missing in his prosaic lifestyle. He is losing the wag in his tail and he doesn't know what he yearns for until he sees some wolves on TV. He hitches a ride with some campers headed for the wilderness where he meets some fearsome wolves that sense the shared DNA and permit him to run with the pack. Wiener Dog quickly sheds his sweater and transforms into the brave and daring Wiener Wolf. He proudly answers the call of the wild until he witnesses the predators' fierce hunt. He then realizes that he is just Wiener Dog and that he belongs at home with Granny. After his return, he satisfies his quest for adventure in the park, where he runs with a domestic pack. Readers will enjoy Crosby's soft, acrylic illustrations that portray the wolves in a wild, realistic way while Wiener Dog is full of human emotion. Each page is rich with details and gives readers much to explore. The minimal text perfectly complements each illustration, which makes this book a good choice for early readers. Some young listeners may find the illustrations of the wolves a bit frightening, but dog lovers will especially adore Wiener Wolf. SLJ"

Wiener Dog is a bored and pampered dachshund itching to break away from his ho-hum life in the lap of his doting owner, an old-fashioned grandmother. Watching a TV show about howling wolves is the catalyst for Wiener Dog's transformation from a meek, domesticated dog in a red sweater to his alter ego: Wiener Wolf. The adventurous dachshund hitches a ride to a state park, meets up with a pack of wolves and takes a walk on the wild side as he explores fresh territory with his new furry friends. At first, the smaller dog is intimidated by the wolves, but he loses his sweater and joins the pack, making for a hilarious juxtaposition of the little dog scrambling to keep up with the much larger wolves. The dog loses his nerve as the wolves close in on a fleeing deer, depicted on a white background with loping, snarling wolves and the little dog frozen with a horrified expression. Wiener Wolf reverts back to Wiener Dog, running right out of the illustration and hitching a ride back home to Granny. The dachshund is funny in both movement and expression, and the wild-eyed wolves are suitably scary. Dachshund owners young and old will adore this. The portrayal of Granny is regrettably stereotypical, though. Running with wolves is enticing, but coming back home is always a comfort. Kirkus"

About the Author

Jeff Crosby (jeffcrosbyillustration.com) has illustrated for several notable publications, including the New York TImes, the Village Voice and Entertainment Weekly, as well as seven children's books. He coauthored and coillustrated the award winning juvenile nonfiction book, Little Lions, Bull Baiters & Hunting Hounds: A History of Dog Breeds with his wife, Shelley. The couple lives in the wilds of Colorado with their pack: daughter, Harper; shih tzu, Millie; and two wiener dogs, Baron and Fritz.


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 2
  • Lexile Measure: 400L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Disney-Hyperion (July 5, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1423139836
  • ISBN-13: 978-1423139836
  • Product Dimensions: 10.5 x 0.3 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #96,046 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

This is one of those rare treasures I stumbled across when I was sitting with my kids this past week waiting for story time at our local Barnes & Noble to start. I quickly snatched it off the shelf and read it to my kids. I'm not sure who enjoyed it more, them or me. I have no idea how I hadn't heard of this book until this moment. Not only is Jeff a local author/illustrated, but this story is fabulous!

I fell in love with Jeff's illustrations before I even read the book. These are some of the best illustrations I've seen. I've never been a huge wiener dog fan, not that they're not cute, I'm just more of big dog fan, but this adorable story won me over. It's a fun adventure story about a wiener dog who yearns for a little bit more adventure, when one day he discovers there's more beyond his quiet little house her shares with granny. Wiener dog becomes Wiener Wolf! No matter matter how much fun he has, he realizes that this may not be all he thought it was cracked up to be either.

This is not only a story with some of the most captivating illustrations, it's a fun adventure with a lovable character. When a book captures not only my attention, my children's attention and the attention of other younger kids that were seated near us, than you know it's a hit. I HIGHLY recommend picking this book up today! This is the perfect book for ages 4-7.
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I saw this book last week at Barnes and Noble and when I went out to the parking lot I KNEW I needed it. As an elementary school counselor, I am always telling (preaching) to our students the importance of finding a friend you can be your self around. The type of friend where you don't have to change who you are or throw out your values. You know it's the right friend fit when you feel good about how you're acting and feeling. Enter WIENER WOLF!!!!!

Oh gosh, I loved this story. Wiener dog wants to run with the wolves and become their buddies. But he comes to realize it's just not working out trying to be friends with the wild wolves. Their behavior is not a good fit for him. He has to be true to himself and go back home. This is the part of the story where I always like to ask the kids, "Have you ever had that feeling? Like something doesn't feel right in your heart? That you are going against what you know is right?" Wiener Wolf is going to help me deliver this message. Friendship is a yearlong journey for kids so I am always sneaking in great books to help be a support.

So obviously I went back and purchased Wiener Wolf. I got the last copy on the bookshelf which tells me others see the value in it too. I love adding NEW ones like this to my shelf for the fall. The students will love the story and message in this one. It's simple and the illustrations are so well done the kids are not going to want me to turn the pages too fast. Also, how can you not love a book about a wiener dog trying to figure out who he is!?
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This book is worth the purchase just for the expressions Jeff Crosby puts on his protagonist's face. He deftly mixes a fairly realistic style with some very cartoony expressions, and in a lesser artist this wouldn't work. It works beautifully here. The wolves are a bit scary, but probably not too scary for most young readers (when I was little, I was terrified of the wolf in "Peter and the Wolf", but these wolves have a really nicely drawn sleeping scene that makes them much less scary). And it demands to be read aloud, with audience participation in the parts with howling. I attended a reading at BookPeople in Austin, and watched a capacity crowd of children howl along enthusiastically.

Highly recommended.
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This is a GREAT book. The illustrations are amazing, and the story--which clocks in at around 200 words--is as compelling as you can get with a picture book. Who hasn't wanted to swap the tedium of everyday life for endless adventure?

Wiener Dog does exactly that, and he learns something about himself in the process.

I have my own wiener dog, Napoleon, and I got this book for him. He is very much in touch with his inner alpha wolf, which is why he is afraid of helicopters--they remind him of Alaska. Napoleon sat on my lap while I read to him, although he did fall asleep before the end. (But he's 13, which in human years is 13. So who can blame him?)

If you have your own wiener dog, or a small child, or a person on your gift list with an inner wolf, this book is for you.
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This book is perfect for me to read to my five year old step daughter while trying to help her learn to read, but the illustrations are so adorable and even though they are meant to be cartoonish, the manerisms of the wiener dog is uncanny to my baby. Love this book.
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This book is adorable, and my 4 year old son loves it. Our weenie dog passed away in January, so I ordered this for him because I thought it would be special for him. Anyway...

I like this book because the pictures are amazing! They are not typical children's book pictures...they look like art. Not joking, I want to photocopy some of the pictures to hang on my wall at work. They are hilarious!

Secondly I like this book because it only has about a sentence or two per page, but gets the point across. I hate books that are meant for small children, but drag on and on. It's easy to keep a young child's attention with more pictures than words.

The story is cute, sweet, and memorable. It is humorous as well, and we laugh at some of the images. A+++ rating.
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