Reading/Interest Level: Primary
Author: Marsha Wilson Chall
Illustrator: Alison Friend
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Figgy Mustardo is no ordinary dog. When his owners leave, he turns into a pizza-making, race-organizing rock star. The problem is these extraordinary activities leave him completely exhausted and unwilling to play fetch when his owners come home. Worried about Figgy, his owners buy a new puppy so Figgy won’t be alone at home. At first Figgy is apprehensive about this new puppy named Dot, but after putting on a wonderful show with Dot, they become fast friends.
The Secret Life of Figgy Mustardo leaves an adult reader a bit disappointed, but most children will still enjoy the book despite its flaws. The book seems flat even though exciting things happen while the humans are gone, and the ending doesn’t quite fit with the rest of the book. The first three times the humans leave Figgy does something crazy, but the last time he tries to give himself away because he doesn’t feel loved. The author tried to show how the owners cared for Figgy by buying him a new dog friend, but Figgy thinks he is being replaced. All the sudden Figgy decides he likes the new dog, and everything is happy. The book is a bit choppy with the different story segments, but it is a cute, light read that kids will enjoy.