________________ CM . . . . Volume V Number 8 . . . . December 11, 1998

cover Rodeo Pup: An Unbelievable Adventure (With Some Really Good Advice For Dog Lovers).

Lisa Rotenberg.
Toronto, ON: Doubleday Canada, 1998.
27 pp., cloth, $18.95.
ISBN 0-385-25704-X.

Subject Heading:
Dogs-Juvenile fiction.

Preschool - grade 2/ Ages 3 - 7.
Review by Liz Greenaway.

* /4

image "My dog Rodeo Pup is much smarter than he looks. He can turn almost any day into an adventure" begins the story. While Lisa Rotenberg's creation is very appealing visually, I can't imagine any reader finding it believable or an adventure, let alone being inspired enough to write to Rodeo Pup at his e-mail address given at the back of the book. I liked Rotenberg's bright stylized acrylic illustrations; however, the accompanying text left much to be desired.

      The story begins with Rodeo Pup's owner getting dressed up for picture taking day at school. She puts on her best skirt and fishnet stockings. Coming downstairs, Rodeo Pup tricks her into getting his Dinochew in his cage so that he can steal her toast. This is the reader's first example of how smart Rodeo Pup (whose name is never explained) is.

      Intrigued by her fancy clothes, Rodeo Pup proceeds to follow her to school, and then to unravel her stockings, creating a long long piece of string and landing him in the Principal's office and hot water. Later, when she returns from school, Rodeo Pup proceeds to pull out the string and floss his teeth, thus proving how smart he is:

After school, Rodeo Pup greeted me and rolled over on his back (which means "I'm sorry" in dog talk). Then he took a L-O-N-G piece of string from behind the couch.

Rodeo Pup took the string and flossed his teeth. I told you he's smart.

Well. Father was amazed. Mother was speechless. My brother took a picture.

The very next day, Rodeo Pup's picture was in the newspaper. And now, children from all over send Rodeo pup fan mail! Rodeo Pup would like to hear from you? You can visit his web site at http://www.rodeopup.com, and, if you send an e-mail, he'll write back. He really is one smart dog! Captions accompany Rotenberg's illustrations, such as "a dog's crate, big or small, is his castle" and "tell your dog when he is bad. He'll know better next time".

It took me a few readings to realize that here was the "really good advice for dog lovers" mentioned in the subtitle. There are flashes of subtle humour in the story, as Rotenberg is clearly writing for the adults reading the story to their kids. But overall, I felt that this book was a case of too much flash and not enough substance.

Not recommended.

Liz Greenaway is a part-time bookseller living in Lethbridge, Alberta.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.

Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364