I'm not generally a fan of "concept books", with gimmicks and without plots. So I was a bit skeptical when Dogs Don't Brush Their Teeth! showed up on my doorstep. But I have to say that this book is adorable. I think that preschoolers will really like it.
Dogs Don't Brush Their Teeth! is a photo picture book about dogs, where photos of dogs have been digitally manipulated and augmented with sketched elements and backgrounds. Each page shows something that dogs normally do (fetching balls, swimming, etc.) and something related that dogs don't do (playing tennis, kayaking, etc). Most of the pages have fold out flaps, with the "DOGS DON'T" hidden behind the flap, and sharing part of the original picture.
Some of the spreads, especially the "DOGS DON'T" pictures, are hilarious. There's this one in the center of the book with two dogs holding a jumprope, while a third jumps -- you can't look at it without giggling. Another shows a dog gardening, complete with sun-hat and spade. It's clear that the spade was added digitally, but they somehow got a photo of this dog standing on his hind legs, for all the world like he's a person.
The dogs are very cute, even when going about their normal dog-like activities. A spread at the end of the book has a picture of each dog, labeled with the dog's name and breed. The letter that came with the book says that the dogs belong to friends and family members of the authors, and assures the reader that "no dogs were harmed in the making of this book and all dogs received multiple treats during each photo shoot."
If you know a preschooler who loves dogs, or just one who has a keen sense of the ridiculous, give Dogs Don't Brush Their Teeth! a try. I think that it's going to be a hit. It should be available for purchase today.
Publisher: Orchard Books
Publication Date: August 1, 2009
Source of Book: Advance review copy from the publisher
Author Interviews: Just One More Book! shares a video interview with Diane deGroat about the creation of this book.
© 2009 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved.