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Children's Fiction Dogs

Up Dog

by (author) Hazel Hutchins

illustrated by Fanny

Annick Press
Initial publish date
Feb 2012
  • Board book

    Publish Date
    Feb 2012
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 2 to 4
  • Grade: p to k


Uh-oh! Look out, house! This little dog is very busy cheerfully digging up and chewing up everything in sight. It’s a sad little dog who’s locked up in the pen while the house and garden are tidied up. But all is not lost, as he’s cautiously welcomed back up the steps and into the house at the end of the day.

Readers will have fun both watching the antics of this little dog and interpreting the animated facial expressions that range from determination and dejection to joy. While readers follow the dog from bad to good in rhythmic two- or three-word panels, they’ll also learn how to use “up” phrases.

Together with Up Cat, this engaging board book will expand toddlers’ vocabulary while delighting them with everyday scenes in the lives of two adorable animals. 

About the authors


Hazel Hutckins est l'auteure de plus de 30 livres pour enfants, y compris l'album illustré primé Mattland, une œuvre qui est aussi illustrée par Duan Petricic. Hazel vit à Canmore, en Alberta.


After many years of juggling writing, raising her children, and making a home with her now deceased husband, Hazel spends her days writing full time. Winner of Writer's Guild of Alberta Award for Children's Literature, she has written children's short fiction for Chirp, Chickadee, and Cricket.
When answering where the inspiration for A Second is a Hiccup came from, Hazel comments, "I decided to see if I could find other ways to describe time. When the writing began to flow in poetic form - and when I came up with the engaging title line A Second is a Hiccup - I knew I had begun a labor of love. The book went through many one version I actually brought in centuries and eons! Good grief! But it finally returned to exactly what it should be...immediate, simple and close-to-home. It is my sincere hope that children of all types will enjoy finding and celebrating, among the pages, the many ways they spend their time."

Hazel Hutchins' profile page

Fanny has two passions in life: drawing and sewing. After completing studies in visual arts and graphic design, she worked as a costume designer and also created marionettes for children's puppet theater. She now devotes herself to illustrating children's books.

Fanny's profile page

Editorial Reviews

“A great board book to look more closely at the word up.”

Columbia Review Group, Washington Library Media Association, 09/12

“This is a great little board book . . . educational too.” 

Creative Madness Mama, 04/12/12

“This little pooch’s up-and-down antics charm.”

Kirkus Reviews, 07/01/12

“My little one really liked this book as she was able to read most of the words herself.”

Red House Books, 05/08/122

“Simple enough to engage audiences as young as two . . . also appropriate for beginning readers in Kindergarten.”

Canadian Children’s Book News, Summer/12

“For toddlers just learning to speak, Up Dog and Up Cat are a wonderful introduction to the rich ‘strangeness’ of the English language.”

CM Reviews, 04/12

“An irresistibly happy board book with a repetition that makes participation fun.”

Booklist, 07/12

“Very young children are sure to be charmed by this messy pup and everything he gets ‘up’ to.”

Cozy Little Book Journal, 11/23/12

“A warm portrait of the special (and often messy) relationship between dog and person.”

Publishers Weekly, 04/12

Librarian Reviews

Up Dog

Charmingly appropriate is the idea that a board book, or in this case two, would be created around one of the first words that toddlers learn — up.

Up Dog follows Dog through a straightforward, yet eventful, kind of day. Hazel Hutchins uses 40 words to describe how Dog digs up a bone in the yard and then manages to muddy up the entire house. The dog is penned up while the owner cleans up, wipes up and hangs up the washing to dry. At this point, Dog is free to race up and back into the house. After Dog, too, is cleaned, the story ends with it enfolded in its owner’s loving arms. Eyes closed, Dog snuggles up soundly.

While Hutchins has accomplished the almost impossible task of laying out a complete story in so few words, Quebec illustrator Fanny has also performed the impressive task of creating a pictorial foundation that allows the story to flow smoothly without seeming to jump or jar. Her illustrations, with their bright but simple backgrounds, pair perfectly with the text, appealing to young readers and also ensuring that key elements pop directly into focus.

In both Up Cat and Up Dog, the expressions on the animals’ faces contribute much to the story. In one particularly evocative illustration, Dog perks up, displaying puppy-dog eyes and a wagging tail that foreshadow the happy ending that is certain to follow. In a similar manner, Cat’s expressions reveal the further meanings behind its actions, such as when Cat is being haughty or sneakily “up to no good.” Dog even makes a brief appearance in the pictures for Up Cat, sneaking up on Cat as it is washing up and prompting Cat to “puff up” with an arched back and wide eyes.

Up Cat may not involve as much drama as Dog’s story, but perhaps this is in keeping with the protagonist’s character. Cat moves through its day, lapping up milk, leaping up on furniture and curling up in the sun. It does get into trouble, ripping up a ball of yarn and accidentally finding itself scrunched up in a box, but it is eventually lifted up onto a windowsill and out of harm’s way. However, the same story arc or connection between cause and effect doesn’t feel as apparent in this book.

While these books are simple enough to engage audiences as young as two, they are also appropriate for beginning readers in Kindergarten. Up is one of the first words young children say and it is also an appropriate first word for them to read. These companion books are sure to appeal to both “cat people” and “dog people” alike.

Source: The Canadian Children's Bookcentre. Summer 2012. Volume 35 No. 3.

Up Dog

In this adorable board book that follows the antics of an energetic dog while introducing preschoolers to phrases with the word “up,” a little dog gets up to big things.

Source: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Best Books for Kids & Teens. Spring, 2012.

Other titles by Hazel Hutchins

Other titles by Fanny