Reading/Interest Level: Preschool, Primary
Author: Keri Claiborne Boyle
Illustrator: Jonathan Sneider
Publisher: HarperCollins Children's Books
Teddy the Dog is confident in his canine class. That's why he decides to compete in the "strut your mutt" competition. Teddy is sure he'll rise in the competition as a shining star. Once there, Teddy meets some new best furry friends. He quickly realizes, however, that this is not the show he thought it would be. Nobody seems to like his mud frolicking or face licking, and they expect him to do silly things like walk in circles for no reason and jump over sticks. Maybe Teddy isn't cut out for this, but he decides that doesn't mean he's not best in show.
Written from the point of view of Teddy the Dog, this book is as humorous as it is meaningful. Teddy describes himself with exuberant self-assurance, and he is confidently poised in every illustration. He makes funny quips about how life will be when he is famous, keeping the reader entertained. The writing transitions easily from event to event, and the illustrations flow just as well. While Teddy is very confident, he isn’t arrogant. He doesn’t view himself as better than others and recognizes that he isn’t perfect at everything. In this delightful story, Teddy doesn’t succeed at everything he wants to, but nothing brings his mood down. He is a great example of being optimistic and knowing one’s own worth.