I'm My Own Dog
By David Ezra Stein
Illustrated by David Ezra Stein
By David Ezra Stein
Illustrated by David Ezra Stein
Category: Children's Picture Books
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A sweet and funny role reversal… An ode to the transformative joy of companionship.
—The New York Times Book Review
The typical pet picture book is turned on its ear in this witty and charming story. … Young readers will get a kick out of the reversed human-pet roles, which are cheerfully and animatedly illustrated in pen and “hacked” kids’ marker and colored with watercolor and crayon. The cartoonlike drawings perfectly illuminate the life and attitudes of this canine character, from his contented chewing on a slipper to his joyful, bowlegged run during a game of fetch. Minimal text makes this a great read-aloud for listeners with short attention spans, while the humor will tickle older kids and grown-ups.
—School Library Journal (starred review)
Stein’s role reversal is deliciously fun, and what makes it sing is the bulldog’s confiding tone, and the way Stein telegraphs a range of emotions—exasperation, resignation, and pure joy—with a few bold lines.
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
An independent dog teaches his human a few tricks in this amusing role reversal. … Appealing pen, ink and watercolor illustrations, done in a primary pastel palette, convey the dog’s sassy, ultimately warm personality. The artist’s use of marker is reminiscent of a Chinese brush painting—where each stroke skillfully conveys an energy or intention about the character or setting. Fresh and lively, Stein infuses each spread with spontaneity. A charming person-as-pet story that will leave dog lovers chuckling.
Dog lover or not, this delightful picture book by the author of Interrupting Chicken speaks to the most charming and beloved dog behaviors and will delight any reader. Beautiful watercolor illustrations enhance the charm of the text. Educators will snap up this title that supports teaching point of view.
—Library Media Connection
The popular viewpoint-reversal gag is particularly amusing here, with some excellent silliness in the dog’s solitary habits (“When I look in the mirror, I lick my own face because I am so happy to see me”) and some genuine and funny legitimacy in the dog’s take on the situation. A fascinating illustrative note explains the artwork, including the fact that a marker was “hacked” to dispense India ink; the result is a particularly childlike iteration of Stein’s familiar vigor, with big scrawled lines colored with cheerfully slapdash washes in sunny and verdant outdoor hues. The round-headed, gray-spotted pup is aggressively cute, with a bit of bulldoggish fang showing at times, while the human he adopts is a wonderfully hapless grownup man with a stuck-in-the-’70s vibe. … An enjoyable and deftly crafted joke.
—Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“Who is the person in this relationship and who is the pet?” Stein makes amusing, adorable hay from this idea is this tale of an independent doggie who doesn’t need a person—well, not at first. … Stein’s pen, marker, and watercolor figures are endearingly slapdash and exude warmth; when the dog says, “I’ve grown attached to the little fella,” the duo’s affection for each other is palpable. A fitting celebration of opinionated pups everywhere.
Stein’s gestural watercolors are the perfect foil for the droll text. As the story unfolds, young readers will begin to understand the humorous tension between what the text says and what the pictures show (and what they know to be true about dogs and their owners). When the dog complains about having to “clean up after them,” one can imagine a child laughing at the scene of spilled ice cream. Dog-loving parents will be reading this one over and over—and will never tire of it.
—The Horn Book
I’m My Own Dog, by David Ezra Stein gives readers a comical peek into the life of man’s best friend. Our protagonist is a self-reliant canine who fetches his own slippers and can give himself scratches, thankyouverymuch. But when a lonely human follows him home, the dog has no choice but to fetch a leash to lead the man around with.
—Parents Magazine Tablet
A witty role-reversal tale… When he’s followed home by a wayward human, the precocious pet has to rethink his misgivings about people (“you always have to clean up after them”) and discovers the joys of having a best bud.
Do kids (and adults) need another dog book? The answer, as any dog lover will tell you, is a resounding yes, especially when the book is created by the talented David Ezra Stein… I’m My Own Dog reminds us delightfully once again, dogs also make excellent best friends.
From Caldecott Honor winner, David Ezra Stein, young readers will enjoy seeing life through the point of view of the dog. … The pen, marker and watercolor illustrations warmly represent the relationship that is building between the two lovable characters. … This is a charming story that represents a point of view not often considered in the pet and owner/master relationship.
—Reading Today Online
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