Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Read, Read, Read, said the Baby: Hot Dog Cold Dog by Frann Preston-Gannon

This sounded like a good concept, but I don't think it was well-developed.

The book starts with simple comparisons. The "Hot dog" is standing on a beach under an umbrella licking a popsicle, the "cold dog"  is standing in the snow on a wintry night. Then "new dog" and "old dog", which sounds a little odd since one is obviously a puppy and one has a beard - shouldn't it be "young dog"? "Likes to travel slow dog" is sitting on a turtle. "Go, go, go, dog!" is on roller skates. This is followed by some size comparisons. Then it...stops making sense. The next picture shows a white dog standing in the snow "Playing in the snow dog/Where did you go, dog?" At this point, I realized that maybe this wasn't an opposites book after all? The next page shows a dog with a spotted clown coat and a serpentine dog whose body is curled up. Then a dog digging. Then  a dog reading (this book) and another jumping with springs on his feet. Then dogs hiding in cacti and finally all asleep in a big pile.

The art has a bit of an Eric Carle feel, only more in earth tones. It looks like hand-painted paper cut into collages to form the variegated dogs. The font has a light, almost hand-written look. The book itself is an oversized 9x9 square.

I think if I hadn't gone into it expecting it to be an opposites/concept book I might have liked it better, but I don't think this worked well as a board book. I can see it more as a picture book for a younger crowd, however it's too scattered and abstract in the concepts to make a good board book. The oddly shaped dogs don't seem to be good choices for illustrations for a very young child.

Verdict: As a picture book I would have liked this better, since it would be directed at a slightly older audience, but I can't quite like it as a board book. I definitely shows promise though and I'll keep an eye on this author to see what else they do in the future.

ISBN: 9781576876794; Published 2014 by POW!/powerHouse Packaging & Supply; Borrowed from another library in my consortium

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