Reading/Interest Level: Toddler, Preschool, Primary
Author: Madelyn Rosenberg
Illustrator: Heather Ross
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Julia insists that their dog Rexie should enter the Happy Tails Kennel Club dog show, but first she has to find Rexie, clean him, and then find him again! But Rexie happens to meet a skunk, and Julia’s brother Charles accidentally puts hair dye on the dog instead of soap. When they arrive at the show, Rexie still needs to be groomed, but he has other plans. He thinks that everyone at the show is there to play with him, so he makes friends with a girl dog and steals peoples’ shoes, including the judge’s! Unfortunately, Rexie gets disqualified. But Julia has a better idea! She hosts her very own dog show in the backyard. It is a huge success, Charles and the neighbor boys help, and the dog is so worn out at the end that he falls fast asleep.
Children will easily relate to the characters in this book whether they are similar to Julia, the controlling big sister with good intentions, or Charles, the little brother who tries to help but always seems to be getting into trouble, or the twin neighbor boys, who cut their hair and ride on their bicycles blindfolded. There are many illustrated scenes on each page of the book that will pull children in and keep them entertained. Charles’s pet frog can be found on almost every page and Rexie’s human-like facial expressions will keep children giggling throughout the entire book. Parents will be reminded that sometimes all a child needs is a backyard, a mostly compliant pet, and a little bit of creativity to keep them busy!