A rambunctious preschooler can be a hard trial for even the most patient canine. After all, sometimes all a dog wants is a nap—a nice, long, uninterrupted nap.
But there’s not a wink of sleep in store for the long-suffering dog in Laurie Ann Thompson and Paul Schmid’s delightful new picture book, My Dog Is the Best. Looking a bit like a young Linus, complete with blanket, the boy in this story is definitely ready for action. His good-humored, four-footed friend goes along with one activity after another—rolling over, playing with a ball and engaging in a game of tug-of-war (though it is clear that playing dead is this dog’s favorite). Eventually, the little boy tires out and snuggles down for his own nap, just as his fluffy companion gets a second wind and is ready to play in earnest.
With its deceptively simple text and spare, gentle illustrations, My Dog Is the Best is a wonderful bedtime story with enough subtle humor to bring a smile to parents’ faces on multiple readings. And with its repetitive chorus of “My dog is the best” and clear sentences that match text to action, the story is also ideal for beginning readers. Most of all, this book celebrates that special bond that can exist between a child and a family pet.
Next time you’re invited to a baby shower (or puppy shower, for that matter), consider giving Thompson and Schmid’s story of two best friends.
Deborah Hopkinson’s next book, Courage & Defiance, will be released this fall.