Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 3 to 7
- Grade: p to 4
The Duke and his dog, Tricky, spend their days making trouble. They cheat, steal, and play cruel-hearted pranks on their neighbors, just for fun. But one day, somebody new comes to town and gives Tricky a treat that melts his mischievous heart — and sets him thinking about the effect his actions have on others.
Inspired to change his ways, Tricky decides to set things right the only way he knows how… with tricks! Tricky’s ploy might just lead The Duke to reconsider his ways. Stylized cartoon-inspired art adds a distinctive mood and humor to this fun debut picture book about empathy, revenge, and reform.
About the author
KARI RUST is the author and illustrator of Tricky and The House at the End of the Road. Kari has a background in character animation and design, and her hand-drawn images are full of warmth, style, and humor. A graduate of Emily Carr University of Art and Design, Kari lives in Vancouver, British Columbia.
- Short-listed, Blue Spruce Award
- Short-listed, 2019 BC Chocolate Lily Award
- Commended, Canadian Children's Book Centre's Best Books for Kids and Teens
"Despite the clear demarcation of good and evil, debut talent Rust avoids smarminess with lots of slapstick energy, and by not insisting on Duke's conversion at the end (although she does hint at reform)."
"Heartwarming and humorous, kids are going to love hearing this debut picture book. It is fun to read out loud, and its illustrations will have little ones giggling as it is shared."
Sal's Fiction Addiction
"This is a beautifully illustrated picture book that eloquently teaches a valuable lesson... Recommended."
School Library Connection
"The animated illustrations are especially deft at showing small shifts in body language, making even the nasty Duke somewhat endearing....promising."
"Their story is ultimately one of kindness and reform, so hilariously told that kids won't realize they've absorbed a behaviour lesson. Now that's a good trick."
"This powerful story about kindness versus unkindness is a must-have for all libraries."
School Library Journal
"This book is a delight to read, with a fast-paced and amusing story. An added advantage is that it presents a life lesson in a light-hearted manner. Tricky is a book for all children's collections."
Canadian Review of Materials