Category Archives: Silly stick

books that are especially silly, inspire silliness, or just made us laugh

Day 171 – My Dad Thinks He’s Funny

For every kid who has ever rolled their eyes and said “my dad thinks he’s soooooo funny,” have we ever found the book for you! “My Dad Thinks He’s Funny” by Katrina Germein and illustrated by Tom Jellett is a delightful book that really resonated with our oldest and made us all laugh out loud.

dad thinksThe book is narrated by a little boy who is (ostensibly) SO OVER his dad’s corny sense of humor. His dad never seems to be serious, answering seemingly every question or statement with a silly quip. Say “I’m hungry” and dad says, “Hello, hungry. Nice to meet you.” Tell dad you think you have something in your eye, and dad says, “Yeah – an eyeball.” Heading out to go swimming? Dad cautions, “Try not to get wet.” At this point, I expect many children listening to the book will be rolling their eyes and empathizing with the narrator: “My dad thinks he’s funny, too.” Or maybe that’s just what happened around our house. Of course, at the same time that little ones are rolling their eyes, I expect there are an equal and opposite number of dads nodding their heads approvingly: “That’s a good one!” Hmmm. Maybe that was just our house, too. Personally, I don’t think the jokes in this book ever get old, but by far the best one – and the one that made us laugh out loud – was when the narrator cautioned “and when dad says, ‘Time for a special announcement’, we leave the room fast, before it really starts to smell!” Dads do think they are funny.

No matter how jaded the narrator seems, however, the illustration on the last page gives him away – as we see him giving dad a big hug! I thought this book was not only funny, but cute – and so very true to life. The illustrations are playful and expressive and add to the fun – especially the page that demonstrates the “eye-roll”. We give this very amusing book a cumulative family thumbs-up! I recommend checking this book out from the library and reading for Father’s Day, dad’s birthday, belly laugh day, or any day. Now, if you can hang on for a second, I have a special announcement to make…

Day 163 – The Paper Bag Princess

In honor of Robert Munsch’s birthday, today we read our very favorite Munsch picture book: “The Paper Bag Princess” – a delightful and irreverent fairy tale that takes the old damsel-in-distress narrative and flips it right on its head.

The story begins with a beautiful princess, Elizabeth, who lives in a castle and is madly in love with the dashing(?) and aloof Prince Ronald. She is supposed to marry Prince Ronald, but one day a dragon suddenly swoops in, burns the castle and all of Elizabeth’s clothes, and absconds with her fiancee. Determined to retrieve Ronald, Elizabeth pursues the dragon wearing a dress made of the only item in the castle not burned to a crisp: a paper bag. When she finally arrives at the dragon’s lair, Elizabeth plays on the dragon’s weakness – his excessive pride – by cajoling him into ever more impressive displays of power, speed and destruction until he is so exhausted that he doesn’t even respond when she walks up and yells in his ear. Walking triumphantly past the defeated dragon, Elizabeth opens the door to the lair only to be scolded by an ungrateful Prince Ronald: “Elizabeth, you are a mess!” he announces, before she can even speak. “You smell like ashes, your hair is all tangled, and you are wearing a dirty paper bag. Come back when you are dressed like a real princess.” “Ronald,” she replies, “your clothes are really pretty and your hair is very neat. You look like a real prince, but you are a bum.” Spoiler alert: they don’t get married after all.paper bag

We absolutely adore this book (our oldest gives it three “loves”…as in “I love, love, love this book!). It has been a favorite in our house for a long time. I am particularly fond of the abrupt and unceremonious way in which Elizabeth cuts bait at the end of the story, although the clever way in which Elizabeth thinks to defeat the dragon is a nice bonus. Michael Martchenko’s expressive and colorful illustrations add to the humor of this very satisfying picture book – a perfect complement to the amusing narrative.

The story conveys what I think is a very important message: it is who you are on the inside and not what you look like on the outside that matters, and if somebody can’t appreciate you for who you are inside, then they are not worth your time…especially if they are self-absorbed, ungrateful pretty boys (that’s what I got out of it, at least).

Day 162 – if you want to see a whale

When you think about heading out to the beach, perhaps you imagine building a sand castle, splashing in the waves, or tossing a Frisbee on the sea breeze. These pursuits all seem fairly straightforward, and I’m not sure you need any special instructions for any of them. However, if you plan to set your sights a little higher, and what you really want to do at the beach is to see a whale…well, we may have found just the book for you! “if you want to see a whale” by Julie Fogliano and illustrated by Caldecott Medal winner Erin E. Stead is a whimsical and poetic how-to guide with just the right amount of silly to make it a thoroughly entertaining read aloud experience.

whaleThe book begins with the bare essentials required for whale spotting: a window…and an ocean…and time for wondering…AND time for realizing. You will need a not-so-comfy-chair and a not-too-cozy-blanket, because you can’t watch for whales when you are sleeping (me: good point!). While watching you must make sure NOT to notice certain other things that might be intriguing: the color pink, sweet roses, possible pirates on the horizon, perching pelicans, small inching things…and clouds. You must watch the sea and wait…wait…wait…
Eventually, after much waiting, payoff (in this book, at least)! A whale does appear, and we are left to playfully imagine all the many adventures a child and his dog will have (conversing? exploring? sitting quietly?) with their new-found whale…but this is not a book about what to do with whales – it is strictly a book about what to do if you want to see one.

We love the poetic prose, the childlike observations, and the humorous illustrations of a child and his dog waiting patiently and forgoing all other distractions in pursuit of their singular goal. We also got a kick out of the idea of a child sitting and waiting for something fun to happen…it’s a theme that we saw previously in another Fogliano-Stead collaboration: “and then its spring”…and we enjoyed it just as much here as we did there. As with the prior book, patience is eventually rewarded – but, goodness, that waiting is hard work!

Day 150 – Have You Seen Elephant?

Have you seen “Have You Seen Elephant?” by David Barrow? If you have, you will likely have noticed the very large elephant hiding behind a tiny tree while a little boy looks out and you shrugging his shoulders. It looks rather silly, right? Well, it is – delightfully so!elephant

You see, the little boy and the elephant are engaged in a game of hide and seek. “Would you like to play hide and seek?” the elephant asks. “OK.” says the little boy, “You hide.” “I must warn you, though,” the elephant cautions, “I’m VERY good.” Yeah, right. Right? But it turns out that he is very, very good…or is he? Little readers, and the boy’s dog, may be able to spot the elephant on every page (behind the drapes in the kitchen, under the comforter on the bed, holding up the TV in the living room, sitting with a lampshade on his head) but neither the boy, nor his parents, seem to see the elephant. At long last, the elephant taps the little boy on the shoulder: “There you are!” the little boy cries…before being challenged to a game of tag by a tortoise who has wandered into the picture. “I must warn you, though,” he cautions, “I’m VERY good!”

This story is tons of fun for read aloud and the artwork is playful and expressive, which serves to amplify the smiles. The combination is quite engaging for listener and reader alike – “Can YOU spot the elephant?”, “Do you think that the elephant is good at hiding…or is the boy just pretending not to see?”, “Do you think his parents really can’t see the elephant?” In fact, according to this interview with Mr. Barrow, that is exactly the kind of ambiguity that the author was going for. As an aside: in the linked interview, I also liked the way that Mr. Barrow describes the “audition” he held to identify the right little boy for the lead. I think he chose well; every time I look at the smile on the little boy’s face it makes me grin.

Oh – and one more thing: after reading over multiple reviews – and the aforementioned interview – I could find no reference to any deeper meaning in the book, although when we first picked it up I assumed that “Elephant” must be an allegory. You know: no one will talk about the “elephant in the room” even though everyone can see it? We pored over the illustrations, especially the family portraits that adorn the front and back pages of the book, and we thought we identified something. But, were we trying to read too much into it? Why were those family portraits there? I’ll leave it up to each individual reader…either way, allegory or no, this was a really fun – and funny – book.

Day 149 – Are We There Yet?

Today we read another book whose cover illustration sucked me right in. The comic-book style of the artwork, and…well…the rampaging T-Rex called out to me. “Are We There Yet?” by Dan Santat is a delightful, imaginative, and humorous book about passing the time by letting your imagination run wild.there yet

The book’s protagonist is a young boy on a road-trip to grandma’s house for her birthday party. The car trip to grandma’s is always exciting, he assures us…at least for the first 60 minutes or so, at which point he asks “Are we there yet?” and grumbles to himself “This is taking forever”. He is painfully bored. Soon, however, we begin to see all the things that can happen when your brain gets so bored that it starts to drift…

Cars on the road become a locomotive being chased by mounted bandits…and then suddenly the car is walking the plank of a pirate ship…competing in a jousting match…or passing through a time warp into the era of the dinosaurs! Ultimately, bandits, pirates, knights and ladies, and the car itself are all riding on the back of a T-Rex – making time fly soooo quickly that it actually passes them all by; when they arrive at grandma’s, the party has already been over for 43 years!!

When our hero does wake up eventually, he has arrived at grandma’s house – and the excitement returns. He runs out to get his hug from grandma and head in to the party…where we see him sitting despondently at a table in a room full of adults – one of whom is pinching his cheek. Everyone else seems to be having fun, as he mutters, “Can we go yet?”

Mr. Santat’s artwork is outstanding – full of action and expression. There are are all kinds of little details in every picture to keep children (and adults) poring over pages long after the book has been read the first time. The startled or scared looks on the faces of the parents, as the little boy imagines them experiencing each time-travel experience with him, are particularly entertaining. The story also reads like an oversized comic, with scenes taking place inside multiple frames on the same page and the orientation of the pages changing as the little boy’s imagination starts to kick in.

Aside from the innovative and action-packed “packaging”, I appreciated this story in large part because the endless cycle of “when are we going to get there?” to “Can we go yet?” is so familiar. It’s funny, because, as a father, I’ve seen this play out first-hand time and time again. At the same time, I could definitely see things from the little boy’s point of view. If you have ever road tripped with your children (or your parents!), I think this one may sound familiar to you, too.

Day 133 – Rain

Around these parts it feels as though April showers have carried on…and on…and on. Frankly, I’m surprised our May flowers haven’t floated away by now. How appropriate, then, that today we should be reading “Rain” by Sam Usher – a colorful and wonderfully imaginative storybook that seeks to remind us that the very best things are always worth waiting for!

rainMr Usher’s protagonist is a precocious little red-headed boy, who wakes up one morning to a rainy day. He can’t wait to get outside, but his Grandad says they should stay indoors until the rain ends. “But I LIKE going out in the rain,” our hero pleads. In the rain you can look at things (reflected) upside down, catch raindrops, and splash in puddles. But Grandad is not persuaded, and so they wait.

The little boy reads sea stories, and the rain does not stop. What about a sea voyage with monsters, he suggests. No, better to wait. Sooooo, the little boy reads a book about Venice, and the rain does not stop. How about going out to see the floating city, with acrobats, carnivals, and musical boatmen, he proposes. And granddad, who has finally finished writing a letter, jumps up and says, “Quick…we have to catch the post!”

Time for a voyage at last (and what a voyage it is)! There are upside-down reflections, and chances to catch raindrops in your mouth, and musical boatmen, and sea monsters, and acrobats, and a general riot of activity. Upon returning home from the mailbox and after changing into some dry clothes, the boy and his Grandad sip hot chocolate, and agree: “The very best things are always worth waiting for.”

The message imparted in this book is a classic; so very true, but so very hard to remember in the moment (waiting: a potentially rewarding but infinitely challenging predicament…see here, here, and here for other books we love that have captured this theme). I particularly liked how the author foreshadowed the adventure to come with the little boy’s reading materials, and I loved the scribbly, playful watercolor illustrations, a style that I think adds to the helter-skelter carnival feel of the eventual voyage.

And, the very moment we closed the book, it started raining (again!) at our house…I guess I’ll sit here and wait for MY ship to come in.

Day 92 – An Extraordinary Egg

In honor of April Fool’s Day yesterday we read “An Extraordinary Egg” by Leo Lionni, an adorable story about friendship and childlike wonder. The book is easily recognizable as a Lionni creation, with his simple and vibrant combination of collage and pastel that I have always found charming. Oh, and the book also made us laugh out loud!

LionniJessica is a frog who is full of wonder. She spends her days wandering the far side of Pebble Island, and always seems to return home with something exciting – even if it’s just an ordinary pebble. The other two frogs on the island, Marilyn and August, are never very impressed – until one day Jessica brings home a large white “pebble” that is “as round as the full moon.”  Marilyn, who is a self-professed expert on all things, announces that Jessica has found a “chicken egg.” When the “chicken” hatches and looks – to the reader – very much like a baby alligator, Marilyn proclaims “I was right! It is a chicken.” They are impressed with how well their new chicken friend can swim, and they play in the water from “sunup to sundown” for days. When the chicken saves Jessica’s life one afternoon (she had gotten tangled in some weeds under the water), the two become inseparable friends. Then one day, a little bird alights and tells the chicken that her mother has been looking for her. Jessica and the chicken follow the bird for a day and a night until they find the “most extraordinary creature” either of them had ever seen: the chicken’s mother (who also looks remarkably like an alligator).

Throughout the book, we kept waiting for the frogs to have an epiphany, but they never do. Even when faced with overwhelming evidence of their error, it never occurs to them that their friend is anything but a chicken. That’s what made this book so funny to us. It’s like Leo Lionni is playing the “straight man” (in the comedic sense) while the rest of us can’t stop laughing. We loved how the frogs immediately welcome a new friend regardless of her very different physical appearance; it’s a complete non-issue. There is also something very zen and comforting about Jessica’s cheerful acceptance of the fact that her friend has to leave to be with her mother: “I’ll miss you very much, little chicken. Come visit us soon – and bring your mother too,” says Jessica…and then she moves on. By the time she gets back to the other frogs, she’s just excited to tell them about her experience, and about the silly mother chicken who called her own child an “alligator.”

We originally intended on reading a whole bundle of April Fools books specifically written for the holiday…but after acquiring them from the library, we were unimpressed. This Leo Lionni book was a last-minute substitute, and a wonderful one at that. In the end, keeping in mind the theme of the day, we had to wonder – were the frogs the April Fools for not recognizing the alligator in their midst, or were we the fools for not realizing that the joke was really on us?

Day 78 – Muncha! Muncha! Muncha!

For years, Mr. McGreely has had a dream “…of getting his hands dirty, growing yummy vegetables, and…gobbling them all up.” One fine spring day, “by golly,” he decides it is finally time for his dream to become reality. He hoes, and he sows, and he watches his garden grow – but he is not alone! In the corner of his yard, somebunny else has their eyes on Mr. McGreely’s veggies – three somebunnies to be exact!

munchaThat evening…”tippy, tippy, tippy, pat”…the “puff-tailed” interlopers steal into the garden by moonlight and “muncha, muncha, muncha” Mr. McGreely’s carefully cultivated sprouts. What ensues is a rapidly escalating and humorously excessive contest of man against nature – with Mr. McGreely erecting increasingly imposing barriers against these three resourceful and ravenous “lop-eared” larcenists. After building what looks like a maximum-security prison around his garden – complete with moat – it appears he has succeeded in turning away the “twitch-whiskered” trouble-makers…or has he?

Candace Fleming’s “Muncha, Muncha, Muncha” put a big fat smile on my face. The mischievous bunnies, the use of onomatopoeia, and Mr. Greely’s emotional outbursts nam nammade for an engaging read aloud experience (for narrator and listener alike). The repetitive moonlight “refrain” of the bunnies sneaking into the garden – “tippy, tippy, tippy, pat…muncha, muncha, muncha” – is great for beginning readers as well. Perhaps best of all, Ms. Fleming’s book inspired us all to start munching on carrots as our oldest read us the Spanish version of the story.

Candace Fleming is scheduled to be featured in the next online author event at Read Aloud Revival (April 17, 2016). We plan on working in several more of Ms. Fleming’s books between now and then. We can’t wait!

Day 77 – St. Patrick’s Day (a foine bundle o’ books to be sure!)

I may have forgotten to put on any green this morning, but that doesn’t mean we weren’t prepared to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with a bundle of carefully selected, holiday-themed story books. We had five books this evening, and I felt four were truly worthy of mention here.

St. Patrick’s Day by Gail Gibbons

If you have a holiday coming up, it’s always a good idea to make sure you have a Gail Gibbons book queued up for the reading list. Her picture books are a great way to introduce the history and traditions of a holiday in a form that is accessible to younger listeners, while almost always sharing some information that is new to the adults in the room as well.patrick

“St. Patrick’s Day” is a relatively quick read but still manages to provide a brief biography of St. Patrick and explain his significance to the Irish people while also introducing all the major symbols people associate with the holiday (except for green beer). New knowledge I acquired from Ms. Gibbons this evening included the fact that St. Patrick was not originally Irish (he was English?!?), that the holiday was first celebrated in (what would become) the United States in 1737 in Boston, and that St. Patrick used the three-leafed shamrock to explain the concept of the Holy Trinity.

Overall, it was a great introduction to a fun and festive holiday, and an entertaining start to our St. Patrick’s day book bundle.

Fiona’s Lace by Patricia Polacco

“Fiona’s Lace” by Patricia Polacco isn’t a St. Patrick’s Day book per se. It is a story about a family – the family of Ms. Polacco’s great-great-grandmother Fiona – who emigrated to the United States from Ireland. Like one of our favorite Christmas books “An Orange for Frankie” (another Polacco creation), “Fiona’s Lace” takes a chapter from Ms. Polacco’s family history and turns it into a delightfully moving storybook that the entire family can enjoy together.

FionaFiona lives in the little village of Glen Kerry, Ireland – not far from Limerick – with her mother, Annie, her father, Mick, and her sister, Ailish. Ailish never tires of hearing their father tell the story of how he and Annie met, and how he was led straight to her door by the pieces of homemade lace she had tied to lamp posts and bushes all along the way. Annie is no longer able to make lace due to the arthritis afflicting her hands, but she is confident that her oldest daughter Fiona’s lacework is destined to be the pride of Limerick.

Unfortunately for Fiona’s family, the textile mill on which the town of Glen Kerry depends for its livelihood is shutting down. Where can the family go to find work? The O’Flarity’s next door have a possible solution: sign a contract to be in domestic service for a rich family in return for passage to America – a country where, Ailish assures Fiona, “…servants have servants of their own.” With tearful farewells, Mick and the girls pack up their belongings and head for Chicago.

After a long and challenging ocean voyage from Ireland to New York, followed by a similarly draining train ride from New York to Chicago,  Fiona’s family arrives at their new home. However, what they find is not the land of bounty that Ailish anticipated – it’s a two room apartment in a rundown area of town that they must share with another family – the O’Flaritys from Glen Kerry! Mrs. O’Flarity educates Fiona’s family on the reality of their new situation: with all of their wages from domestic work going to pay off the cost of their tickets to America, the only way to survive is to find a second job – which they do (Annie scrubbing linens in a local hotel, and Mick at the slaughterhouse).

But there is hope! Mrs. O’Flarity mentions a dressmaker who is looking for fine Irish lace like that which Fiona makes. When presented with Fiona’s samples, the dressmaker tells Annie: “We’ll buy as much as the girl can make!”. Celebrations ensue back at the apartment – Mick talks of using the earnings from selling Fiona’s lace to move the family to their own farm, across the lake in Michigan. That evening, however, while Mick and Annie are working their second jobs, a fire – presumably the Chicago fire – comes tearing through the neighborhood and Fiona and Ailish must flee. They make it to safety, but how will their mother and father find them?

Inspired by Ailish’s favorite story about their parents, Fiona cuts up her beautiful – and now extremely valuable – lace and uses it to mark a path to a basement where the girls eventually lie down to sleep. The next morning, shortly after they awake, they hear a familiar voice cry out “My lambs…my meek little lambs!” It is their father and mother at last – overjoyed at having found their girls amid the devastation of the fire. Ailish is heartbroken over the destruction of Fiona’s lace, but Mick assures them both that their family “…and generations after…will cherish this lace…always!” And they do; according to Ms. Polacco’s end note, those pieces of lace continue to be family heirlooms to this day.

“Fiona’s Lace” is a moving story about the importance of family, of relying on each other and persevering. It is also set against a fascinating backdrop of Irish and American history, and Ms. Polacco’s epilogue adds to the impact of the story by letting the reader know that the tale has tentacles into her life today – that it is part of her family’s lore.

A Fine St. Patrick’s Day by Susan Wojciechowski and illustrated by Tim Curry

The towns of Tralee and Tralah have been rivals “for as far back as anyone can remember.” The two burgs compete with each other annually for the prize of best St. Patrick’s Day decorations – a prize awarded by the official county judge in the form of a golden shamrock. It is a prize that Tralee has never won, but with each defeat they remain confident of next year’s triumph, despite their track record and the taunts from the people of Tralah.fine

This year, little Fiona Riley has a foolproof plan – the people of Tralee must paint the town green…entirely green (except, of course, for the mailboxes which are government property, and the fire hydrants which must remain yellow in order to be seen). Everyone agrees this is an excellent plan, and they all set to work on this arduous task – while their counterparts in Tralah work assiduously to decorate their own town with glittery cardboard shamrocks.

One day before St. Patrick’s day, a stranger (who looks suspiciously like a leprechaun) rides into Tralah seeking aid. His cows have become stuck in a nearby river and he must free them quickly. Unfortunately, the haughty people of Tralah are too busy to spare any time for the stranger, who is forced to seek assistance in Tralee. Led by the example of little Fiona, the people of Tralee are persuaded to abandon their brushes (and their best chance yet to defeat Tralah) so that they may help the stranger wrest his herd from the mud at the bottom of the river. Upon completing the task, they arrive home too exhausted to finish decorating – and they all fall asleep with the town only partially painted.

When they awake, they find that every inch of Tralee has indeed been painted green (except of course for the mailboxes and fire hydrants – as previously explained). There is cheering, whooping, and hollering – and the people of Tralee are finally awarded the golden shamrock; their trophy case is empty no more. When they rush to tell the stranger of their good fortune, however, the only trace of him is a single golden cow bell left in a field. The grateful people of Tralee place the cow bell next to their trophy – on which little Fiona’s name has been inscribed – and decide that they will no longer compete with Tralah. From this day forward they will celebrate and decorate as they will with no regard for judges or prizes, but simply for the sheer joy of it.

I loved reading this book. The oil paint illustrations fill every page with deep and vibrant color, and the text is almost like a song with all the Irish names and expressions: O’Learys and McLeans, Reverend Flaherty, Brogan O’Neill, Fiona Riley, and a little man who keeps exclaiming “sure and begorra” when explaining how his cows are stuck in the mud. It’s a thoroughly satisfying conclusion, as well, with the kind-hearted people of Tralee richly rewarded and finally able to (figuratively) take their ball and go home so they can play their own game according to their own rules.

Oh – and more cowbell! Sorry, had to.

There Once Was a Man Named Michael Finnegan adapted by Mary Ann Hoberman and illustrated by Nadine Bernard Westcott

This book was very silly and fun. It’s based on the children’s song “Michael Finnegan” and is meant to be sung. Unfortunately for our family, I did not know the tune of the song until I looked it up online later in the evening – but I think everyone enjoyed it…I sure did. It’s repetitive, but the repetition is entertaining, and there’s something about saying the name Michael Finnegan – especially with an Irish accent – that makes me smile. The book also wins extra points because when we first bought it, our youngest wanted to hear it read again and again.

finneganIn this extended version of the song, Michael plays the violin frequently but never very well. He becomes rich being paid not to play, is laughed at by his family for never actually getting any better, and eventually finds a soul mate in a little dog, Quinn, who loves his music. The book ends with the exuberant lines:

Michael takes his violin-igan,
Quinn sits up and starts to grin-igan,
Kisses Michael on his chin-igan,
Happy Michael Finnegan, begin-igan!

And in closing…

May your glass be ever full.
May the roof over your head be always strong.
And may you be in heaven half an hour before the devil knows you’re dead.

There are many great Irish toasts that could be mentioned here, but I have always especially appreciated this one. Sláinte!

Day 71 – Chewy Louie

For anyone who has ever owned a puppy, “Chewy Louie” by Howie Schneider will sound very familiar. It is a cautionary parable that becomes a tale of hope, patience, and redemption – and Mr. Schneider’s illustrations of the goofy, exuberantly destructive little puppy of the title are certain to put a smile on your face.Louie

The story is narrated by a young boy whose father brings Louie home one day. Louie is a diminutive black puppy who loves to chew…on everything. He eats all the food his new family puts in his bowl, and then he eats the bowl. He chews up toys, headboards, the back porch, and the veterinarian’s office. He runs off the construction crew hired to repair the house as well as two dog trainers with diametrically opposed approaches to curing Louie of his obsession with chewing. Eventually, the entire family has reached the end of its rope and has resigned themselves to the fact that they will have to part with their Tasmanian devil of a dog…until Louie plays one last game of catch and actually returns the stick without chewing it at all! It seems Louie was just going through a phase – he’s all better now because “he’s not a puppy anymore.”

Every page of this book is littered with pictures of Louie’s handiwork…there are chunks missing from just about everything you can think of. No bites are taken out of the people around Louie – but their clothes, canes, and guitars are not safe. Mr. Schneider’s depiction of Louie’s protruding teeth and pink tongue, his frantically wagging tail, and the almost drunken look of satisfaction on his face in some scenes are quite amusing – especially in contrast to the various looks of horror, astonishment, anger, or even resignation on the faces of the people around him.

It’s a really fun book to read and to look at – and best of all, it gives us a little glimmer of hope that one day our puppies will stop chewing our house.