The Very Very Very Long Dog (Julia Patton)

Hello, friends! Our book today is The Very Very Very Long Dog by Julia Patton, a whimsical tale of Bartelby the sausage dog and his uniquely long body.

Bartelby is a very very very long dog. He lives quite happily in a cozy bookshop, spending each morning reading his favorite books whilst eating his breakfast, then meeting with his three young friends to go on a walk through the city. Bartelby loves his walks, but there is one slight problem: while his front end is happily enjoying the stroll, his back end seems all too adept at getting into trouble. Seemingly a block behind Bartelby at all times, his rear has a tendency to hold up traffic, prance through wet cement, and trip up passersby. When Bartelby realizes the trouble his hindquarters are causing, he is embarrassed and heartbroken. Can his clever young friends find a solution for Bartelby’s woes?

This was a really cute premise that, for the most part, worked very well. Bartelby’s sweet, friendly and sensitive nature is endearing right off the bat, and the children he has befriended are wonderful examples of how good pals can help those with special circumstances to navigate the world. The art is scribbly and sweet, adding to the general simple, congenial feel of the story and dialogue. However, the ending was a little underwhelming, and I only wish I had gotten a clearer sense of just how long Bartelby is – including his entire continuous length in at least one illustration might have helped establish a sense of scale. Otherwise, the length was great, and JJ enjoyed it. This would be a fun one for dachshund lovers, or anyone who knows what it’s like to be a little different, but wonderfully unique. Baby Bookworm approved!

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

Pig The Pug (Aaron Blabey)

Hello, everyone! Today, we read Pig The Pug by Aaron Blabey, a morality tale about a selfish little pug being taught a lesson in sharing.

Pig is a pug, and a very greedy one at that. He does not care to share anything, not his toys nor his food. When a friendly dachshund named Trevor says that they might have more fun sharing, Pig throws a huge tantrum and piles all his toys into a mountain, climbing on top and declaring his ownership of them. But uh-oh; that pile seems a bit wobbly… 

I had some mixed feelings on this one. While I loved the Seussian rhyme scheme and the just rewards for the sweet pup Trevor, there was a sense of dissatisfaction for the way Pig’s story turns out. Namely, he falls out of a window. I’m not joking: a full page spread is dedicated to the sight of Pig’s chubby little body plummeting upside-down from a second story window. What results is him being put in a full-body cast and therefore forced to share his toys with Trevor while Pig, humbled, looks on meekly. While this is the kind of ending that can be very entertaining to slightly older children who can better understand that Pig’s hubris is what led to his comeuppance, younger bookworms may not make the connection as easily. And because Pig doesn’t really learn a lesson, other than “don’t play near open windows,” it’s maybe not the best book about sharing for the babies (even JJ seemed a bit underwhelmed). Still, there were some fun and goofy illustrations, and the length was fine, so maybe give this one a try for older readers, and overall, we’ll call it Baby Bookworm approved (with an asterisk).