Saturday, October 6, 2018

Great Dog by Davide Cali

A Pup Contemplates His Future While Looking At Family Portraits

A dog in a sports coat talks to his child regarding family portraits hanging in the hallway. The child, who is wearing a sweater and cap, enjoys the pictures and stories his dad is telling about various family members.

According to Dad, Uncle Angus, a police dog, had an excellent nose. However, when the folded page is opened it shows Uncle Angus unaware of robber dogs making out with some loot behind him. Aunt Doris is a fire dog that had lots of courage. Yet another picture is of Uncle Tibor, the fastest runner in the family. Each remark made by the father has a folded page showing just the opposite regarding each relative.

As they continue to walk down the hallway the child keeps asking if he will be like one of the ancestors. Father continually assures the child that,
“No matter what, you will be a GREAT dog!” 
However, there is a surprise ending.

My Thoughts

What Concerned Me:  *Spoiler Alert* 

At the end of the book when the child asks,
"What about me?"
The father comes back with:
"You will be a GREAT dog!"
But the cap falls off his child revealing cat ears.
"You will be a great dog, a magnificent dog . . . Or a great CAT. It's up to you!"
That left me completely confused. Is the story saying his child is an adopted cat? Is the message about gender change (which really doesn't make sense, since changing from a dog to a cat is beyond that). Is it supposed to just be a funny ending? Or maybe it's as simple as unconditional love, which makes the most sense, but not really.

Whatever the ending is meant to be, I'd hate to try explaining it to a child.

I wish I could at least say I liked the illustrations, but I wasn’t a fan of them. They were wispy and hard to see.

What I Liked Best: The first part of the book seemed just fine but usually a child wants to hear the whole story. Therein lies my problem. Sorry.
Author: David Cali
Illustrator: Miguel Tanco
Published by Penguin Random House, 2018
  • Ages: 3 - 7
  • Pages: 46
The Clothing At
Little Adventures 
Is Sure To Bring Smiles

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