Monday, July 19, 2010
Bad to the Bone (Down Girl and Sit)
Written by: Lucy Nolan
Illustrated by: Mike Reed
Recommended Ages: 5-8
Here's an early reader book that is laugh out loud funny. Bad to the Bone is the perfect book for the emerging reader who is ready to move beyond the 32-page picture book format. It has short, easy-to-read chapters, illustrations on every page and a snappy dialogue which makes reading it a breeze.
Bad to the Bone is written in first person from the viewpoint of a dog named Down Girl. (She thinks Down Girl is her name because that is what she hears her owner saying to her all the time.) Down Girl is a self-proclaimed cat hater who is always trying to train her human Rruff. When he doesn't give her the attention she thinks she deserves, she and her friend Sit decide to be "bad to the bone." Unfortunately, this only gets them into more trouble, resulting in the two dogs going to a dog training class. Only in Down Girl's mind, it's a class to teach their masters how to behave. What follows is a hilarious scene with the owners shouting out orders to the dogs, which makes the dogs think they've forgotten their actual names. As Down Girl notes at one point "Sit was a very popular name that day." Kids will find this scene of confused identity very funny, and may want to read it over and over again.
Young readers are naturally drawn to books about animals, and will enjoy reading a story told from a dog's point of view. Bad to the Bone is the third book in the "Down Girl and Sit" series, and even the most reluctant reader will have a hard to resisting the sly humor. By the way, if your child enjoys Bad to the Bone, you might want to check out the Bad Kitty series, which I wrote about here.