Tuesday, October 16, 2012



This is a book that I found incredibly charming, and more than a bit funny. There are very few words of text, no dialogue or story description, so the illustrations really speak for themselves. A marvelous choice for dog lovers. 

For starters, it really makes me laugh that one dog has another dog as a pet. What exactly are the differences between these two dogs where one walks upright, wearing clothing while the other is content to walk on a leash on all fours, like a ... well, dog? But that's how the book goes, so I will embrace the premise. 

When Great Aunt Betty sends Archie a sewing machine, he turns an appraising eye at his pet and decides to stitch up a simple coat. On their walk later, Archie's handiwork catches the eye of another dog walker. This duo really makes me laugh because the woman-dog and the dog on her leash both look like pugs, but she's wearing an outfit and the small one is on a leash.

In any case, Archie makes an outfit for her dog, and the news of his abilities spread. Before long, Archie's phone is ringing off the hook with requests, until all the dogs in town and their owners are wearing his smart designs. A green plaid suit for his Pug friend, plaid kilts for the Scottish Terriers, and a ruffled flouncy pink dress for the Poodle. Archie produces clever, inventive outfits precisely designed for their personalities.

These illustrations are so perfect. She does a brilliant job of making the upright dogs look so evolved. The way Archie casually answers the telephone with one paw tucked into into his dark gray trousers; how he slumps down in his easy chair for a nap after a long day, with one arm trailing down to the floor.

I just realized all the dog pairs are the same breed, except for Archie and his dog. Does that mean the upright dogs are the parents and the leashed dogs are the children? But that doesn't explain why Archie and his dog don't match. Maybe I'm reading too much into that. 

Review copy provided by Bloomsbury Kids.  


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