“You ain’t nothin’ but a hound dog”
--Elvis Presley, 1956
“‘How do we know if they are cats or not?’
‘We can test them!’
--from CAT SECRETS
DOG RULES is the picture book tale of a pair of dogs whose child doesn’t
behave as a dog should behave. It’s a brilliant and hilarious sequel to the
author’s subversively funny CAT SECRETS (2011, Balzer + Bray). As with the
first book, DOG RULES is an audience participation story that is sure to
be a crowd pleaser.
In CAT SECRETS, a trio of cats with a book called “Cat Secrets” confronts
the reader: The book is for cats only, and the cats challenge the
reader/audience to prove they are cats by meowing, purring, stretching, and napping
In DOG RULES, the action begins on the title page where the black cat, who’
d been the ringleader in CAT SECRETS, has climbed a ladder to paint over
what had said “Bird Rules” to now say “Dog Rules.” Then, on the copyright
page, the cat is surreptitiously placing a nest containing an egg and a
note on the ground.
A pair of dogs come upon the nest and read the instructions:
1. Sit on nest.
2. Hatch egg.
3. Teach baby to be a good dog.
Through rain and snow, one of the dogs obediently sits on the egg, and it
hatches. The baby does not at all behave like a dog, but the “parents” get
to work teaching the baby to be a good dog.
This is where the audience participation comes in. The dogs ask us to
demonstrate proper rolling over, and barking.
Nevertheless, the dogs are mystified by their child’s strange behavior.
“‘Hmmm….Our puppy hatched from an egg, tweets, flies, and eats worms.’”
But this is all a set-up a satisfying, belly-laugh of an ending involving
the trouble-making cat, and the well-taught bird...err...dog.
978-0-06-228018-3 Ages 3-7 32 pages
Recommended by: Richie Partington, MLIS, Librarian, California USA
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