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