If You Were a Dog

Book Information
Rating: Excellent
Reading/Interest Level: Toddler, Preschool, Primary
Author: Jamie A. Swenson
Illustrator: Chris Raschka
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Year: 2014
ISBN: 9780374335304
Pages: 40

If you were a dog, what kind of dog would you be? Would you howl at the moon? In just a few words, this book takes you through the interesting lives of dogs, cats, fish, birds, bugs, frogs, and even dinosaurs, complete with sound effects for each. It ends with the best sort of thing to be: a kid!

As an adult reader, it can be confusing to find the order in which to read the phrases on the page, and it is hard to find a rhyming pattern, even though it seemed like there should have been one. The text definitely has an energetic, rhythmic feel to it, though, which is a plus. Illustrations are bright and interesting (in the style of impressionism), but can be rather abstract, sometimes making you strain to understand what the image actually is. That being said, children would most likely still greatly enjoy this book, especially given the creative descriptions of the animals and the entertaining sound effects. The questions and sounds throughout make the book interactive and fun, and the ending leaves the child feeling happy and special. Overall, this energetic and engaging book would be an enjoyable read for story time, especially for animal-lovers.