cover image Bad Dog, Marley!

Bad Dog, Marley!

John Grogan, , illus. by Richard Cowdrey. . HarperCollins, $16.99 (40pp) ISBN 978-0-06-117114-7

In this lively, if over-the-top, picture-book adaptation, Grogan puts a fictional spin on his Marley & Me: Life and Love with the World's Worst Dog ( see Marley: A Dog Like No Other, reviewed below), placing the irrepressible Lab in a family that includes parents, a tow-headed girl and a cherubic baby boy with "a giant, droopy diaper and a thumb that rarely left his mouth" (in reality, Grogan and his wife adopted Marley before they had children). Cowdrey's (Frosty the Snowman ) sweetly sentimental pictures chronicle Marley's growth from pint-size pup to large-scale pooch—and even bigger troublemaker. Kids will chuckle over the dog's nonstop naughtiness, as his head and front paws disappear in the toilet ("He drank what was in his bowl. He drank what wasn't"), he crashes through a screen door and climbs onto the microwave to reach a chocolate cake perched atop the fridge. After Marley snacks on the couch cushions, creating an "indoor snowstorm" of feathers, Mommy declares, "That dog has got to go !" But the nimble pet redeems himself when he once again makes his way to the top of the fridge—this time to rescue the baby, whom he gets hold of by his overlarge diapers. In a complete narrative break, Marley dances in celebration, musing, "Finally, I did something right! " Youngsters familiar with mischievous canines may most appreciate this playful portrait. Ages 3-8. (May)