Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 7 to 11
A funny but heart-warming tribute to a child's memorable, mischievous dog. A comfy dog bed, a red rubber ball, a favourite bone: a collection of images left behind stirs up memories, both poignant and humorous, of a child's best friend. This lovable, rambunctious dog will steal your heart just as easily as he once stole bites of food from the table or a whole birthday cake--candles and all-off the kitchen counter.
About the authors
After winning a prize for her story “Petulia, the Petunia,” in grade three, Carolyn Beck knew she wanted to write, but it wasn’t until she grew up and had a family of her own that she truly pursued this career path. Previous titles include The Waiting Dog, Buttercup’s Lovely Day, Richard Was a Picker, and Wellington’s Rainy Day. She lives in Toronto, Ontario.
Brooke Kerrigan has been drawing for as long as she can remember. Her doodling eventually led her to an Applied Arts degree at Sheridan College in Ontario. Born and raised in Toronto, Brooke currently works from her home in Chamonix, France. Her most recent picture book is Kiss Me! (I’m a Prince!).
Dog BreathThe death of a pet is difficult territory, but this book approaches the subject with grace and good humour.
Reflecting on the loss of his dog, the young narrator takes us through his fondest memories of his furry friend — where he slept, his favourite toys, plus lots of the kind of mischief familiar to dog lovers everywhere. Dribbly toilet bowl drinks, stolen turkeys, musical howlings and runaway days are all part of the bittersweet musings.
Dog owners will recognize so much here, from the “waggy and happy” looks to bath time pathos (“wet and skinny, fur stuck to your bones”), from chewed socks to spilled teacups (that wagging tail again!). It’s an honest portrayal of a relationship that definitely has its ups and downs.
Author Carolyn Beck has a delightful way with language, and her portrait of this lovable, all-purpose dog is astonishingly real. Details such as the jingle of a collar, or the touch of a cold muzzle in the early morning, bring the relationship between dog and owner to life. And Brooke Kerrigan’s illustrations of this comical, quizzical canine make each scene absolutely vivid.
Dog Breath describes how a beloved pet can leave an indelible mark on a family’s emotional landscape, and offers a way of holding memories of a lost loved one close to your heart. The book will be a good jumping-off point for young children who need to find a way to accept the loss of a well-loved pet.
Source: The Canadian Children's Bookcentre. Spring 2012. Volume 35 No. 2.
Dog BreathIn this funny but poignant tribute to a child’s memorable, mischievous dog, we meet a lovable, rambunctious canine that steals socks, shoes, mittens and food — even an entire birthday cake, candles and all. A dog who would escape any chance he got and come home smelling like rotten cheese. A dog with the worst dog breath in the universe.
Source: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Best Books for Kids & Teens. Spring, 2012.