It’s a Dog’s Life: How Man’s Best Friend Sees, Hears, and Smells the World

Susan E. Goodman, Author, David Slonim, Illustrator
Susan E. Goodman, illus. by David Slonim. Roaring Brook/Flash Point, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-59643-448-6
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-4703-0066-1
Ebook - 32 pages - 978-1-4668-1657-2
Portable Document Format (PDF) - 32 pages - 978-1-4668-1637-4
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A wisecracking dog narrates this off-the-cuff look at the “secret life” of his species. Goodman (See How They Run) opens with a brief overview of dogs’ rapport with early humans and their subsequent roles (honed through breeding) as hunters, herders, haulers, and guide dogs. Noting “we take this best friend business very seriously,” the canine narrator then offers an anecdotal discussion of dogs’ sharp hearing, keen sense of smell, variable eyesight (“we’re not the best at seeing details”), and methods of communication, including barking, tail wagging, and body language. Providing solid likenesses of a range of breeds, Slonim’s (10 Turkeys in the Road) cartoons suit the upbeat, comedic tone of the text (“We pee on every rock and tree for good reason. Think of that telephone pole as a newspaper or pee-mail”). Additional information from “a human point of view” closes out the book and expands on topics covered earlier (“The section of a dog’s brain devoted to smell is forty times bigger than in human ones”). An agreeable and enlightening jumble of facts and humor. Ages 6–9. (July)
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