My Dog Toby

Book review by
Sally Snyder, Common Sense Media
My Dog Toby Book Poster Image
Simple writing and a humorous, believable story.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

The girl's brother comments several times that Toby is dumb but recants.

Violence & Scariness
Language

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that there's nothing of concern here. Cartoon art nicely captures Toby's moods and abilities.

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What's the story?

Sit! Beg? Roll over! Toby is a great dog, but he can't seem to learn any tricks. Toby's mistress tries various commands, but Toby doesn't seem to understand. Patience and persistence eventually bring success in this humorous and true-to-life story. Cartoonlike illustrations perfectly convey the girl's occasional exasperation and Toby's doggy responses.

 

Is it any good?

Child-pet relationships are explored in this simple, gratifying story. A joyous Toby bounds through the pages, bewildered by the girl's commands but still happy-go-lucky and eager to please. Parents and children will enjoy Toby's enthusiasm and the girl's confidence in her dog. The book is also a good choice for new readers just past the beginning stage; many will be able to read this book themselves, especially after going through it once with a parent.

Watercolor-and-ink paintings perfectly portray the exuberant and loving Toby. The brown-and-white basset hound's expressions will ring true with dog owners. The illustration of the girl and Toby celebrating his success touchingly conveys their mutual joy and love.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the patience and persistence needed to learn -- and teach -- new things. Is it more satisfying to learn something new if you have to work hard at it first? Why or why not?

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