This Is a Dog Book!
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In a rib-tickling display of duplicity and diversion, a bunny tries to show he has what it takes to be included in this dog book. “How did the bunny get on the cover?” “I don't know.” “There ARE bunny books, you know.” “I'm not a bunny. I'm a dog.” To get into this dog book, a bunny attempts to prove to some skeptical dogs that he's one of them. Does he like to run and catch a ball? Of course. Can he use his puppy-dog eyes to get himself out of trouble? Absolutely. Does he smell dog doo-doos? Umm . . . can he get back to that one later? As the bunny answers a succession of questions that run the gamut of a dog's essential qualities, he does his best to demonstrate his dog credentials. Of course, in the end, a bunny is a bunny, not a dog. The real question is, does it have to matter? Written entirely in dialogue, this playful picture book story highlights Judith Henderson's signature mix of dry and silly humor. On the surface, this is a giggle-inducing crowd-pleaser. But in ultimately deciding that it's what's on the inside that really counts, the deeper character education messages of kindness and inclusiveness give the book lots of heart. Julien Chung's simple yet high-energy drawings of mostly thick black lines with splashes of red are a perfect complement to the snappy text and manage to convey a world of emotion. There are excellent lessons here on identity, community and belonging. This story would be great fun for children to act out.