Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 3 to 5
- Grade: p to k
- Reading age: 3 to 5
A stumpy tail, mismatched paws, a long, drooly snout and the biggest dog heart that ever beat. In a celebration of what makes a pet unique, a little girl imagines how an odd assortment of parts combined to make the perfect dog.
With spare, inviting text from Alison Hughes and charmingly offbeat illustrations by award-winning illustrator Ashley Spires, this gorgeous picture book is sure to be an instant classic.
About the authors
Alison Hughes writes for children of all ages, and her books have been nominated for numerous awards. Alison also volunteers at the Centre for Family Literacy and does frequent presentations at schools, libraries and young-writer conferences. She lives in Edmonton, Alberta, with her husband and three children. For more information, visit www.alisonhughesbooks.com.
Ashley Spires est diplômé de l'Emily Carr Institute of Art & Design. Artiste touche à tout, elle a créé des sites Internet, des livres et des marionnettes. Elle est auteure et illustratrice de plusieurs livres dont Quel génie!, la série Basile le chat de l'espace,Petit Paul, Chien recherche garçon et André est débordé. Ashley a également illustré Le Labo des malins par Shar Levine et Leslie Johnstone. Elle vit à Delta, en Colombie-Britannique.
Ashley Spires earned her BFA at the Emily Carr Institute of Art and went on to earn a graduate diploma in illustration from Sheridan College. She is also the illustrator of Binky the Space Cat. Ashley lives in British Columbia, but you can find her at www.ashleyspires.com.
- Commended, Bank Street College of Education Best Children's Books of the Year
- Short-listed, Chocolate Lily Book Award
- Commended, CCBC Best Books for Kids & Teens
"A little girl speculates on the origins of her beloved pet dog, an endearing mutt with an unusual, mismatched configuration of body parts...Both dog and child are appealing characters in the watercolor-and-ink illustrations, and it's refreshing to have two female protagonists and the little girl shown as a dark-skinned child with dark, curly hair."
★ "When it comes to true exposition of the canine soul...Spare Dog Parts soars...The text is sparse but affecting and verges on poetic at times...Spires is an expert at pet portrayal thanks to her popular Binky the Space Cat series, and while she maintains her trademark gentle cartoon style, her drawings are so much more than just pleasant or cute—they are endearingly quirky and surprisingly emotive. The motley dog radiates pure love, devotion, and scampishness whether her tongue is lolling out in anticipation of a belly rub or she is looking on in appreciation as her creator appends a mismatched paw. The text and images combine to create a moving, pure, and affection-filled ode to the mutt...Ear scratches and belly rubs all around."
Quill & Quire, starred review
"A really beautiful story that highlights the uniqueness of pets and the joy they bring into their owners lives. The illustrations in this picture book are beautifully painted, descriptive, and they will engage with the reader...A great read-aloud! Highly Recommended."
"A wonderful picture book praising the qualities of a mutt...The slightly whimsical art is delightful and complements the imaginative story of how the little girl’s dog came to be."
“The short, descriptive read-aloud text complements Spires's friendly, cartoonish ink and watercolor illustrations, which are elevated by emotive facial expressions and well-balanced compositions.”
The Horn Book Online
"Bright and full of energy...it hammers home the idea that, more often than not, a “perfect” dog is the dog you have."
Other titles by Alison Hughes
Other titles by Ashley Spires
Most Magnificent Idea, The
La fée scientifique : Solide, liquide, gazeux
Burt the Beetle Doesn't Bite!
Solid, Liquid, Gassy (A Fairy Science Story)
Le Canada, c'est moi
I Am Canada: A Celebration
La fée scientifique
The Story of "O Canada"