Top Dog

h1 October 5th, 2011 by jules

Here’s a quickie post about a picture book I have totally developed a huge crush on, Stephen Shaskan’s A Dog Is a Dog, released by Chronicle Books this month.

I’ve got so many other books I want to post about, too, so I’ll be brief, and I’m mostly here this morning to show you some spreads from it anyway.

This is a winner of a picture book for your youngest of readers or especially for those needing a great story time title for wee audiences, whether in a school or public library or classroom.

“A dog is a dog,” the book opens, no matter how it behaves or where it is … but, wait. A dog is a dog, unless it’s a … CAT. And here our friendly (though sometimes naughty) canine protagonist unzips his impish disguise to reveal he’s really an undercover cat of sorts.

And it’s in this manner that the book continues, going through quite the range of animals (squid, anyone?), keeping young readers guessing — with a rhyming, fluid text and uncluttered, thickly-outlined digital illustrations. And it’s just funny is what it is. The dog, especially. He is really a hoot.

But you can see that for yourself below, since I’ve got some of the art to showcase here. Incidentally, all I know about Shaskan is what the book’s back-flap bio tells me — that he graduated from Rhode Island School of Design, has worked as an early childhood educator (you can tell, given this child-magnet of a book), and that he has played in four rock bands. Rawk. (His site is fun to visit, too. See?)

Oh, and I believe this is his picture book debut. Lucky for us readers.

Enjoy the art.


(Click to enlarge)





(Click to enlarge)

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A DOG IS A DOG. Copyright © 2011 Stephen Shaskan. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Chronicle Books, San Francisco.

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7 comments to “Top Dog”

  1. I…must…have…this…book!


  2. Thanks so much for the kind words about my book! I would love to do an interview.


  3. Terriffic! Simple, clever and awesome. I will definately check this one out.
    Take care


  4. Another book to look forward to! I think the “if it’s skinny or fat” illustration is particularly clever.


  5. Oh my goodness! We have a wonderful old cat who we call our ‘dog cat’ because he can be awfully doggy… sounds like we should find this book!


  6. Love these illos! Especially Mr Dog In Pool. 🙂


  7. […] to the scene, his first published picture book released last Fall by Chronicle Books (and featured here at 7-Imp). Having this cyber-breakfast with him is, I think, a good introduction, a way for all of […]


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