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Picture Book Review: The Good Dog

Children's Books

Picture Book Review: The Good Dog

This story doesn’t shy away from showing that people can be unfair {especially villains} and that sometimes doing what is right {to steal a quote from Dumbledore here} isn’t always easy

We received this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Review Date: February 23rd, 2016

Written by: Todd Kessler
Illustrated by: Jennifer Gray Olson

Cover Copy

When little Ricky Lee finds a puppy on the side of the road, he takes him home and names him Tako. Ricky’s parents say that they will allow Tako to stay only if he is a good dog and follows the rules – or it’s off to the pound he goes!

Tako wants more than anything to be a good dog and stay with Ricky, but when greedy Mr. Pritchard hatches a plan to put the Lee family’s bakery out of business, Tako has to break the rules to protect his new family. Will he be able to spoil Mr. Pritchard’s plan and be a hero, or will he end up in the pound?


You know what’s great about this book? The fact that it isn’t four pages long. {Well, I should say four pages short}. No, this is a book. It has a plot! It has character development! And it’s for kids! It’s not a chapter book, but it’s not a flimsy little 500 word “story” either. It’s a great in-between book that you really don’t see much of these days. What I love about this is that instead of pulling out four different books for Madeline and I to read in a sitting, we can read one book instead. She is no less engaged by this, and gets grumpy because I won’t let her eat it at about the same point in time as if we were reading several. The only other books we have that have any length to them are Dr. Seuss and Shel Silverstein books. Those books are a raging success, so I’m surprised by the fact that there aren’t more this length.

The cost of baby books, in general, always feel like a gut-punch. You want me to pay the same amount for this seven page baby book as I do for the 500 page fantasy I just picked up in the other part of the store? Ouch! But this book definitely eases that feeling. There’s heft to it. It feels like I should pay that much and not feel crazy.

As for the story itself, I thought it was very enjoyable. It reminded me a lot of my favorite things: Animated kids’ movies. There’s a protagonist, an antagonist, a character arc, a great moral, AND it has lovely illustrations. This story doesn’t shy away from showing that people can be unfair {especially villains} and that sometimes doing what is right {to steal a quote from Dumbledore here} isn’t always easy. I love that. I am really glad we will have this book for Madeline and I to read together as she grows up and moves toward chapter books {which we will probably start as soon as possible because I’m impatient to have her experience some of my favorites}.

Baby Ratings

  • Tear & Fold Resistance: 4/10
  • Font Readability: 10/10
  • Baby Engagement: 10/10
  • Mommy Engagement: 7/10


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Reader, Author, Bookstagrammer, and Mom; Alexis runs Nerdy Post, a fandom artwork box as well as serves as chief editor and writer on Drop and Give me Nerdy.

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