cover image The Dangerous Book for Dogs: A Parody by Rex and Sparky

The Dangerous Book for Dogs: A Parody by Rex and Sparky

Janet Ginsburg, Chris Pauls, Joe Garden, , illus. by Emily Flake. . Villard, $15.95 (192pp) ISBN 978-0345503701

This gentle parody of the bestselling Dangerous Book for Boys —identical in look and tone to its source material—offers an often funny, surprisingly insightful take on dog behavior that's sure to resonate with the Spot set. With the “assistance” of their human companions, canine authors Rex and Sparky relate practical and authoritative information on topics simple (baths, fleas, bones, poop, “things you can chase”) and complex (the rules of fetch: it's not officially over until a player earns 17,572 points), tips on crotch sniffing (under the heading “How to Make Your Owner Look Like an Idiot”), and a critical guide to frequently ingested items (vomit and poop receive top marks; rocks and keys rank considerably lower). Among more than 50 short entries, the authors seem to have thought of everything, including escape tips for humiliating costumes, stirring true stories (“Great Dog Battles—Part Two: Pepper vs. A Patch of Light”) and even a report on Pavlov (written by his two dogs). Though it occasionally pushes the envelope of good taste (“mounting a bitch is never as simple as it seems”), this goofy, gleeful guide to the dog life will tickle anyone with a soft spot for canines. (Oct.)