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Author: Boldt, Mike
A little girl gets a cat as a new pet but insists it's a dog, even if it doesn't act very dog-like.
Kirkus Reviews (08/15/19)
School Library Journal (01/01/20)
Booklist (+) (11/15/19)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/12/19)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 11/15/2019 *Starred Review* “Rocky is not a good dog,” a young girl laments, and readers will quickly discern that there’s a very good reason why not in this funny and entertaining tale of misidentification. A young girl’s birthday wish list contains only one item: dog. When she receives a pet—one who won't stop scratching things, likes to climb, and never barks—she makes a perfectly understandable assumption that doesn’t bode well for their relationship. She’s frustrated: Rocky won’t come when she’s called, doesn’t like other dogs but is just fine with the mailman, really likes to sleep, and exhibits plenty of other non-dog-like behaviors. Though the gap-toothed child studies a book titled Dog Trix for Good Dogs, its lessons do nothing to change Rocky’s behavior. Large illustrations, placed on white backgrounds, engage readers with their humorous depictions of Rocky, her antics, and the girl’s (and Rocky’s) facial expressions. The text looks hand-lettered and is printed in black when the girl talks directly to readers and in red when giving commands to her pet. After the girl begins considering Rocky’s virtues, she comes up with an idea that has Rocky and readers shaking their heads. Youngsters, especially those with a pet of one kind or another of their own at home, will delight in this case of mistaken identity. - Copyright 2019 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 01/01/2020 PreS-Gr 2—A young girl desperately wants a dog for her birthday, so when she unwraps a large polka-dot package and pulls out a four-legged creature with fur, pointy ears, and a cute nose, she knows it's a "dog" and names it Rocky. Readers clearly see that she has received a cat. The feline gives her new owner an eye roll for her foolishness and is clearly is not amused by her owner's silly expectations. She refuses to learn any doggy tricks. What respectable cat would come when called, like to take walks, and enjoy baths?! The young girl concludes, repeatedly, that Rocky is a "bad dog" because of her failures, and the book's humor thrives in the disconnect between the girl's expectations and the cat's behavior. Children will also love the contrast between the facial expressions of the girl and the cat and will enjoy watching the antics of both. Eventually, the girl notices that Rocky doesn't bark, chew toys, or have accidents, and concludes that Rocky would make a pretty good cat. Boldt's illustrations are large in scale and wonderfully expressive. VERDICT This clever story celebrates the differences between cats and dogs and the owners who love them.—Sally James, South Hillsborough Elementary School, CA - Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.