Dogs Don't Wear Sneakers

Book review by
Peter Lewis, Common Sense Media
Dogs Don't Wear Sneakers Book Poster Image
Four-line, rhymed stanzas introduce wacky notions.

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

Positive Messages
Violence & Scariness
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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that the silly stanzas seem unpolished and slipshod. An effort is made at the end of the book to pull readers into the verbal aspect of the imaginings, but then the prose aggressively dumps kids flat: "But tell me what you see? It's your dream -- not mine!"

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What's the story?

Four-line, rhymed stanzas introduce wacky notions--\"Moose don't go bowling / And hens never swim / And you'll never see roosters / working out in the gym\"--through their denial.

The artwork takes any humor and runs with it, investing each of the critters with personality and milking each scene for all it is worth.

Is it any good?

There is little, if anything, to say about Laura Numeroff's verse; it feels unpolished and operates purely on the level of singsong, and that slipshod sense makes it eminently forgettable. An effort is made at the end of the book to pull readers into the verbal aspect of the imaginings, but then the prose aggressively dumps kids flat: "But tell me what you see? It's your dream -- not mine!" Why the question mark appears after the word see is anyone's guess.

Joe Mathieu's illustrations have the warm, cartoon touch found on Sesame Street, which is unsurprising, given that he has illustrated many books based on the program. That sure looks like Kermit's brother getting into that cab, and if that's not Big Bird's uncle riding that bike, it's his cousin. The creatures have been given the kind of personalities that make them rejoice in whatever it is they aren't supposed to be doing.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about silly rhymes. Find the rhyming words throughout the story, and try coming up with silly rhymes of your own.

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