Children's books and book reviews - reading resource for kids, teachers, librarians, parents

Also by Nina Laden:


Daddy Wrong Legs

Who Loves You, Baby?

When Pigasso Met Mootisse

Roberto, the Insect Architect

Romeow and Drooliet


The Night I Followed the Dog
by Nina Laden
ages 4-8 32 pages Chronicle Books June 1994 Hardcover    

This delightful combination of graphic text and illustration injects new meaning into the phrase "It's a dog's life." For the dog in question, his life is anything but predictable. When a boy discovers his canine returning home one early morning, "stepping out of a limousine and wearing a tuxedo," he is determined to discover what is going on.

That night, after his pet retires to the backyard doghouse, the boy quietly follows. The first thing he realizes is that this is no ordinary doghouse. It has been transformed, with an elegant living room, a well-lit bathroom and even a closet full of very fancy clothes. What's more, the dog in question dresses up in his finery, is picked up by a limo and arrives at a secluded club called "The Doghouse," while the boy pedals furiously on his bicycle to keep up.

The boy is shocked to see his pet's after-hours occupation: he runs a club where other dogs come to relax, talk about their problems and be entertained before returning to the daily tedium of watching the yard, chasing cats and sleeping in the shade. The boy is treated to a tour of the club, complete with a picture of him and his pet at a booth. What an eye-opening experience! Considering all he has learned about the secret life of his dog, the boy pedals home with new appreciation of his best friend's entrepreneurial spirit.

The graphic lettering and energetic illustrations create a lively adventure, and a young boys world is opened up with imagination and a sly sense of humor. The canines are charming, from the handsome star of the story to the slinky poodle and the camera-toting afghan in her hot pink evening gown. After the sun goes down, its a dogs life.

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  Luan Gaines/2005 for curled up with a good kid's book  

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