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THE NIGHT I FOLLOWED THE DOG
Written and illustrated by Nina Laden
ISBN# 0-8118-0647 (Hardcover)
Published by Chronicle Books 1994
Have you ever wondered where dogs go at night, and what they do? Well, the little boy in this story has reason to believe that there is something funny going on, and he's ready to find out what it is. Join him on his hilarious adventure.
"Making an auspicious entry into children's books, Laden provides a stylish, droll answer to the riddle of what dogs do while their owners sleep. Her narrator is forced to revise his low opinion of the seemingly sedentary family pet ("I always thought he was a boring dog") after he spies the pooch alighting from a limousine early one morning, wearing a tuxedo. Tailing him that night, he discovers that the doghouse is in fact a well-appointed bachelor pad and his dog the owner of a spiffy canine nightclub, where dogs go to relax, get treats without having to lie down or play dead, and "talk about their problems with the mailman, or with the poodle next door." Skewed angles and perspectives and a mauve-and-midnight-blue palette ably capture the boy's disorientation, wonder and eventual admiration of his pet's jaunty after-hours persona. The art is at once broadly expressive and full of small, witty details (e.g., the limousine's vanity plate reads K-9). The visual playfulness extends even to the hand-lettered text, which is animated by such variations as inverted lettering for "roll over," chewed lettering for "hungry," and near-pictograms (the word "sit" rests on a chair). A salutary outing spun from a simple but rich idea." -Publishers Weekly
"It's 10 p.m. Do you know where your dog is?" If not, join in this book's extraordinary suppositions. A young boy relates the events of "the night I followed my dog." A dull pet by day, the pup dons a tuxedo and tie after dark, climbs into his limo (vanity plate K9), and goes to his club, The Doghouse. Bogart's got nothing on this pooch as he shows his young master, who has secretly tailed him, around the club. The crisp and colorful pastel drawings of the anthropomorphized clientele are amusing, but best of all is the frolicking text with several words per page decked out in appropriate illustrative (almost rebus) fashion. Sophisticated enough for older children and silly enough for younger listeners, this boy-and-his-dog book has a clever text, great illustrations, and strong appeal."
-School Library Journal
"A winner." -Los Angeles Features Syndicate
"A whimsical book." -Kirkus Reviews
"This zany debut is cause for celebration."
-Parent's Choice Gold Award Winner 1994
Parent's Choice Gold Award
Children's Choice Award
Reading Rainbow Book
Bookbuilder's West Design Award