Touche L'Engle-Franklin is confused: Her mistress goes away for several daysand then returns with another dog. But this dog doesn't have a tail. She doesn't have much hair. And she never has to go outside when it's raining. What on earth could the family want with that inferior breed known as Baby?
Based on the true tale of her own poodle's experience coping with a new baby in the house, Newbery-winning author Madeleine L'Engle gives this familiar domestic drama an utterly charming new twist. Tongue-in-cheek wit, endearing illustrations, and a revealing author's note make this a publishing event to celebrate.
|Publisher:||Chronicle Books LLC|
|Product dimensions:||8.50(w) x 11.10(h) x 0.50(d)|
|Age Range:||3 - 5 Years|
About the Author
Madeleine L'Engle is the acclaimed author of over forty books including the Newbery Award-winning A Wrinkle in Time and its three companion books. She lives in New York City and Connecticut.
Christine Davenier has illustrated a number of children's books, including The Other Dog, Mabel Dancing, and Very Best (Almost) Friends: Poems of Friendship. She lives in Paris, France.
Date of Birth:January 12, 1918
Date of Death:September 6, 2007
Place of Birth:New York, NY
Place of Death:Litchfield, CT
Education:Smith College, 1941
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I just loved this book. It was first recommended to me because of the artwork, it was obvious that the artist knew poodle personalities! I decided to get this book to my best friend who just had her first child and wrote a note to her beloved Hannah Dog and the new baby. It is a fun book with an important lesson to teach.
On the surface, this story is about a spoiled dog's reaction to a first human baby coming home. The story is told in first dog, with Touche L'Engle-Franklin speaking as narrator. That perspective will provide much surface humor. Underneath that story line is the concept of the adjustments that siblings must make when the second child arrives. At first there is a sense of being displaced, then superiority over the pitiful creature follows, and finally love and connection arrive. The book is improved by an extensive author's note at the end about how the story is based on real-life experiences in her family. The book's main weakness is that it should have had simpler vocabulary so that it could have been used with the younger children who are about to meet their first sibling. You can still do that, but will have to rewrite or paraphrase the text so that the story will be completely understandable. The writing is quite humorous. 'First of all, I think you should know that I am the one who wrote this book.' 'So, I -- Touche L'Engle-Franklin -- write this book, with the assistance of that inferior canine Jo [the baby].' 'This summer my mistress went away for several days . . . she brought with her another dog.' 'I fail to see why I did not satisfy all requirements.' The humor builds on the drawbacks of human babies -- they have to be carried, they need diapers (and those have to be changed!), they must be fed several times a day, and they are almost hairless and wear clothes. Over time, Touche takes over watching Jo in the playpen, as they play together through the bars. ' . . . [I] come to the unpredictable, surprising, amazing, astonishing, astounding conclusion: in every home there should be at least two dogs!' The book ends with a painted grey paw print. Ms. Davenier's images are cheerful watercolors that feel like they might have been made sometime between the 1930s and 1950s. This gives the book a feeling of heritage and elegance. The details are inked in with soaring spirals that add motion to the images, often showing Touche dancing all around the room over a large two page spread. Reading this book reminded me of our dog's reaction when our oldest came home from the hospital. Skipper, our Sheltie, looked definitely puzzled, but was very interested. Soon, he was patiently letting 'the new dog' pull his hair (as long as it wasn't too hard). They became very close companions, and it was a great pleasure to watch them play together. I don't think I would have remembered that experience again except for reading this book. You might also want to encourage your child to address what it might be like to view a new baby in the family from other perspectives. How will the cat who lives next door think about the new baby? In this way, you can make the introduction more comfortable. The best time to do this is while the family is pregnant. Obviously, you also need to train any pets you have to behave around your baby. I remember reading good books on this subject, but don't remember their names at the moment. Be patient with all new dogs . . . and the old dogs and children who will eye them suspiciously! Donald Mitchell, co-author of The Irresistible Growth Enterprise and The 2,000 Percent Solution
Any pampered pup (or first born) who's ever had to deal with the sudden addition of another pet (or new sibling) Touché's confusion over her sudden demotion to less than center of attention will be perfectly understandable. Charmingly illustrated and cleverly told, the Other Dog is delightful. L'Engle's author's note, in which she describes how she met the real Touché is worth reading, as well.
I loved the "deception." The author does a great job of making sure that you use context clues (including the illustrations) to fully comprehend the story. Some humor may be lost on children, but most of it can be explained. Children may also be able to relate to this book.
A cute story that would be great for a child who was the only child but will be experiencing another baby in the house. This story can teach them how to deal a bit with that and that it may not be such a bad thing. 4 stars.