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Written and illustrated by Nina Laden
ISBN# 0-8027-8747-9 (Hardcover)
ISBN# 0-8027-8748-7 (Reinforced)
Ages 4-10
32 pages
Published by Walker & Company 2000

So they say I'm a bad dog.
I know I'm no Saint Bernard,
but it's not like I robbed a bank or anything.
I was bored.
Running on empty.
Empty water dish, empty food bowl.
So I emptied the trash can.
That's when I found it...

And so begins the punniest canine road trip ever chronicled. Nina Laden pays homage to the two Jacks- Jack Kerouac and Jack London- in this freewheeling tribute to all those who have longed to answer the call of the wild and take to the open road in search of adventure.

"Bad Dog relates the events that occur as a result of finding a postcard advertising free-range chickens. What is a dog who was "starving for adventure, hungry for chicken" to do? He and his pal Butch set out for their "free lunch," become entangled with the authorities, and set their juicy sights on all those chickens. Eventually, the law catches up with him and it's jail for certain. While waiting for his family to come to get him out, he finds what he wanted-a bucket of fried chicken in the next room. The rollicking text is full of humorous innuendo. Similes that reflect a canine point of view ("The car growled like a pit bull"), twisted phrases (the ensuing chase is "pure poultry in motion"), and a first-person narrative in a deadpan style that resembles that of Joe Friday in the Dragnet TV series give this book a flavor all its own. The illustrations are equally funny, capturing all of the canine antics. The picture of the dogs looking into the pen is especially hilarious, as they view the birds in their cooked state but still with legs: chicken sandwiches, chicken pot pie, buffalo wings, etc. The endpapers featuring mug shots of other "bad dogs" is an additional bonus. Bad Dog is good fun." -School Library Journal

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