A Dog’s Guide to Being Human (Shanna Silva)

Hello, friends! Our book today is A Dog’s Guide to Being Human, written by Shanna Silva and illustrated by Agnès Ernoult, a sweet look at growing up human through the perspective of man’s best friend.

Smudge the dog is so excited – his humans are bringing home a tiny, furless baby. Being the good boy that he is, Smudge is eager to teach his new family member all there is to know about life, and pass on everything he’s learned about being human. For instance, tissues are fun to shred, roses are prickly, and NEVER drink the water from the toilet (it makes the other humans mad). Thunderstorms are scary, but you should try to be brave. Treat everyone as a potential friend, no matter what they look like. And most of all, what every good dog knows: there’s no limit to the love you can share.

Lovely. While some of Smudge’s advice is comedically misguided, this is always presented with a wink to the audience that helps the jokes land skillfully (the advice on shaking after a bath and not drinking from the toilet had JJ rolling with laughter). And as the lessons becomes more earnest, the tone beautifully straddles an ode to our relationships with dogs and a lesson in acceptance, inclusivity, and kindness. Ernoult’s digital artwork is charming and warm, with the oblong and energetic Smudge being a standout, but also manages to include a great deal of diversity in its scenes with humans. There’s even a wonderful illustration of Smudge making friends with a pitbull/bully breed dog, a class of canine often unfairly maligned in fiction and reality, alongside text encouraging tolerance. The length is perfect for a storytime, JJ loved this one, and we highly recommend it. A wonderful read, especially for dog lovers, that encourages us to look at the world through a dog’s eyes and heart. Baby Bookworm approved!

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)

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