Friday, April 22, 2016


   As a writer, you probably hear the phrase "take an old theme and make it new." I know I hear it. And this book is a perfect example. As a parent, teacher, reader, you just want a fun book with re-readability. Check!

Title: The Perfect Dog                               

Author/Illustrator: Kevin O'Malley
Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers, May 31, 2016
Intended Ages: 3-7
Themes: Dogs, Grammar
Synopsis: Using comparatives and superlatives, a young girl imagines the qualities she'd like in the perfect dog, and then her family heads to find the perfect match.
Opening line(s): "My parents said we could get a dog. And I know the perfect dog . . . ."
What I like about this book: If there is a dog on the cover, I want to read it. I'm a dog-lover. Okay, a HUGE dog-lover. So the Brady Bunch type cover brought a smile to my face. It's a big doggie world out there! The endpapers carry that theme forward with two dozen thumbnail sketches of various dog breeds. I personally wish the Pit Bull had been given a "full" sketch, and wondered where the All-American mutt was, but understand that this is a story, not an encyclopedia of the dog world. It's great to see the pet picking process explored in a thoughtful manner. I believe readers will be left feeling that this is going to be a happy life-long match.
     Dog breeds are a fun way to learn comparatives and superlatives! Grammar and fun are not exclusive! Do you want a big dog? Bigger? Biggest? The words, the dogs--and even the font itself reinforces the curriculum concepts. The illustrations support the text so this book could transition quickly from read-aloud to read-alone. And the ending brings the main character into the real world where serendipity trumps the best laid plans.
     I'm not an artist so the technique escapes me, but the characters pop off the background. Perhaps it's the black outlining? Taking a closer look I wondered if it is a shadow or leggings that seem to move/disappear on the first spreads? And a beret changes color in the final ones. Of course, these may be modified in the final bound copy.
No dog in this spread, but lots of fun!


Make a list of attributes your perfect pet would have. Is it a dog, or something else?

Make a game of finding objects in your home and have someone else guess how they link together. Is it big, bigger, biggest? Funny, funnier, funniest? Purple, purpler, purplest? 

Learn everything you can about one dog breed. 

Make homemade dog biscuits and take them to share at your local shelter. Nope, there is nothing about feeding dogs in the book, I just think any excuse to have kids helping shelter animals is justified! (be sure to use a recipe from a trusted source--dogs shouldn't eat some people foods)

This review is part of PPBF (Perfect Picture Book Friday) where bloggers share great picture books. Organized and curated by author Susanna Leonard Hill, she keeps an ever-growing list of Perfect Picture Books. #PPBF

Note: My review is based on a Folded and Gathered review copy from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. No other compensation was received.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Thanks for stopping by! I love to know what you think of my selections.


  1. This has me thinking about a manuscript draft I once read!!!

  2. Being a BIG dog lover, too, I know I need to read this one. I have a rescue dog that wants one, love, and more love. When we went to the shelter, it was without a list of attributes we wanted in a dog, instead, we let the dog choose us. What a great joy! I have a feeling I'm going to love this book. Thanks for sharing it.

    1. You are definitely going to appreciate the ending!!

  3. Yes! This is a book I would love to read. I love the cover and subject! Thanks for the suggestion.

  4. That cover definitely says "pick me!" This looks like a wonderful choice for the many dog lovers among us and for anyone considering a new pet. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Dogs are my favorite pet (RIP the guinea pig, horse, goldfish and cat)

  5. Replies
    1. So many good books! Getting on the list is fantastic. :)

  6. Replies
    1. I hope so! The kids I know are doglovers, but I may have skewed the sample size in my favor.

  7. Yep love animal books of any kind and this looks a real cutie. Great resource for kids thinking of getting a pet. Thanks Wendy.