Cover image for My father, the dog
My father, the dog
1st ed.
Publication Information:
Cambridge, MA : Candlewick Press, c2006.
Physical Description:
1 v. (unpaged) : col. ill. ; 26 x 27 cm.
Reading Level:
AD 510 L Lexile
Added Author:
A young girl suspects that her father is really a dog because he performs such acts as fetching the newspaper and chasing balls.


Material Type
Call Number
Item Available
Book EASY BLU 1 1

On Order



Dad lovers and dog lovers will both delight in this buoyantly illustrated, tongue-in-cheek tribute to the traits these two species share -- and why we adore them.

Dad pretends to be human, but the kids know otherwise. Between first-thing-in-the morning scratching, fetching the paper, snacking, lying around for hours, and even the occasional pit stop behind a tree, the evidence is clear. But so are their father's steadfast love and loyalty. Aren't those the best things about dads and dogs alike? Elizabeth Bluemle's amusing, affectionate text and Randy Cecil's delightful illustrations create the ultimate tribute to proud papas everywhere - an irresistible story readers will beg for again and again.

Author Notes

Elizabeth Bluemle co-owns the Flying Pig Bookstore in Charlotte, Vermont, with stand-up comedian Josie Leavitt. She holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in Writing for Children from Vermont College.

Randy Cecil is the illustrator of numerous books for children, including We've All Got Bellybuttons by David Martin, And Here's to You! by David Elliott, and One is a Snail, Ten is a Crab by April Pulley Sayre and Jeff Sayre. Randy Cecil lives in Texas, USA.

Reviews 5

Publisher's Weekly Review

My father pretends to be human, but I know he is really a dog," begins bookseller Bluemle's appealingly flippant debut. Backing up her assertion, the girl narrator explains that, like her dog, her father fetches the newspaper, likes to ride in the car with the breeze on his face, and "growls when you startle him out of a nap." A couple of manners-bending comparisons will elicit snickers from kids, as parent and pooch (discreetly) use a tree "for a quick pit stop" and the two sit on the couch looking deceptively nonchalant as the youngster notes, "When he toots, he looks around the room like someone else did it." Depicting these human and canine characters in various parallel positions, the art comically captures the similarities between man and pet. Cecil (And Here's to You!) nicely alters the pacing with oval-shaped illustrations that give way to full-bleed spreads (e.g., for "If you throw a ball, he'll chase after it," Dad and dog cover the backyard to make a catch), and his textured brushstrokes work effectively as blades of grass or as fibers on the couch. A final comment, which the girl makes while patting her father's head at bedtime, ends the book on a note at once sweet and sassy: "My father is loyal and thinks we're the best family in the world... which is good, 'cause Mom says we can keep him." Young dog lovers will lap this up. Ages 4-7. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Horn Book Review

Using a dry, spare poetic voice, the narrator of this comical book is a serious young girl who doesn't miss a thing. She explains that her father shares many habits with the family dog, including napping, scratching, and fetching. The text is accompanied by humorous oil-painted illustrations that have a scratchy, textured look. (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. All rights reserved.

Booklist Review

PreS-Gr. 2. A young girl, convinced that her father really is a dog, shares her observations of the similarities between her father and the family pet. In a playful text she describes actions common to both, such as starting the day with a good scratch; clearing the room with a single toot (and trying to look innocent); using a tree for a quick pit stop ; and, at the end, displaying loyalty to the best family in the world. The illustrations accentuate the humor, especially in the physical similarities between Dad and the dog. The charm of the characters, particularly the dad and the pooch, is perfectly conveyed in the exaggerated figures, which are rounded and elongated, and, like the backgrounds, painted in blocks of color, subtly textured with cross-hatching. Children will appreciate the comic view of a dad in an ordinary, but cozy family. --Randall Enos Copyright 2006 Booklist

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 3-In this funny picture book, a young narrator shares her unusual concern: "My father pretends to be human, but I know he is really a dog." She goes on to list the undeniable evidence: he likes a good scratch, growls when he is suddenly awakened from a nap, and when he toots, he looks around as if someone else were responsible. The illustration of the girl peeking under the dining table to see if he is begging for treats offers a clever shift in perspective. The clean, yet warm oil paintings are the perfect accompaniment to the understated and almost deadpan delivery, and they enhance the humor of this doggone good tale. It's ideal for storytimes or one-on-one sharing.-Piper L. Nyman, formerly at Fairfield Civic Center Library, CA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kirkus Review

The title, cover and opening sentence groom readers for this waggish tale. "My father pretends to be human, but I know he is really a dog. Consider the evidence." Dad starts the day with a good scratch; fetches the newspaper; likes the windows down in the car; has used a tree for a pit stop; growls when startled out of a nap; chases a ball; loves snacks; he looks innocent when he "toots"; and thinks "we're the best family in the world." That's a good thing, " 'cause Mom says we can keep him." The comical oil illustrations juxtapose dad and dog in synchronized behavior enacting each activity as they amusingly express the subtly underplayed scenes to a T. Even the typeface is called "SoupBone." Tail-wagging hilarity that's simply doggone funny--and a perfect Father's Day gift. (Picture book. 4-7) Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.