A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Simply meant to entertain.
Parents can love their pups (and by extension, their kids) even when they misbehave.
Positive Role Models
Though Mabel isn't well-behaved, she's spirited and confident and always finds the fun in life. Her human parents are loving and forgiving.
There's a reference to Mabel the dog liking to "lick everything! Even myself … Do you mind, darlings? This is private."
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Naughty Mabel, cowritten by actor Nathan Lane and Devlin Elliott and illustrated by Dan Krall, has Lane's comic stamp, and one can almost hear his voice in the narration. Mabel is a pup, owned by a couple with a lavish Hamptons mansion, and by Mabel's own admission, she's not naughty, she's "VERY NAUGHTY!" Life as a pampered pup is good, but the real fun comes when her owners throw a fancy party. When she's put to bed early, Mabel slips down the staircase in her pink party dress and proceeds to wreak havoc, grabbing pigs-in-blankets from the catering tray, leading her owners on a wet-and-wild chase through the pool, and clearing the party with a stomach-rumbling, toxic-smelling fart. There's a reference to the dog licking herself ("Do you mind, darlings? This is private") and an odd, old reference to the French not liking to bathe, but kids -- even buttoned-up, well-behaved kids -- can misbehave vicariously through all the silly naughtiness.
Is It Any Good?
Readers will find it hard not to love spirited, misbehaving pup Mabel, who asks, "What good is a party without naughty little girls?" By her own admission, Mabel is a free spirit, and she's not naughty, she's VERY naughty. She eats underwear, knocks over the Christmas tree, and paints on the expensive portrait hung in her humans' well-appointed Hamptons mansion. "I live to party!!!" she declares, before destroying the party they host.
It's cowritten by the ever-funny Nathan Lane and producer/writer Devlin Elliott, and Lane's comic voice bleeds through. The text is a bit long, and there are some overly sophisticated adult references (Mabel asks for the name of a good lawyer) and a tired slur against the French, but the real appeal for kids is taking pleasure watching someone else do all the naughty things they're forbidden to do themselves.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.