Bad Dog, Marley!

Book review by
Dawn Friedman, Common Sense Media
Bad Dog, Marley! Book Poster Image
Kids learn that even bad dogs have good days.

Parents say

age 4+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 3+
Based on 1 review

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Violence & Scariness

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this inoffensive but slight book will intrigue kids who like to see a big mess.

User Reviews

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Kid, 6 years old May 17, 2012

Really funny

its really funny and my favourite part is when marley rips the sofa.

What's the story?

Marley the dog moves in and chaos reigns. Will Marley be allowed to stay with his new family?

Is it any good?

Marley is a big, floppy, and ostensibly lovable Labrador retriever who turns the family home into chaos in this endearing story. Destroying glasses, eating chocolate cake on top of the refrigerator, and otherwise creating mayhem, Marley doesn't seem long for the family. While big sister Cassie and baby Louie love Marley they can't help but join their parents in a chorus of, "Bad dog, Marley!"


The book, a kid-sized version of bestselling memoir, Marley & Me, is uninspired with nice but uninteresting illustrations to match. The ending is pat and formulaic. Kids will likely cheer Marley's heroics but adults will be left yawning. And it still doesn't explain how the family learns to live with such a destructive canine.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about their own family rules and limits when it comes to pets. What sorts of things could the family in this book try when they're fed up with Marley? Even though Marley has proven his worth they still need to deal with his bad behavior. Kids can brainstorm ideas.

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