ODD DOG OUT
Written and Illustrated by Rob Biddulph
32 Pages Age 4—8
Genre: Children’s Picture Book, Fiction
Themes: Accepting Differences, Belonging, Self-Esteem, Dachshunds
For busy dogs
a busy day
of busy work
and busy play . . .
And one small dog is finding out what being different is all about.
All Odd Dog wants is to fit in, and she’s prepared to go around the world to find her place in it. But sometimes it takes becoming part of the crowd to show that, actually, it’s better to stand out from the rest.
From award-winning and tremendously talented Rob Biddulph comes a heartwarming, funny, and poignant picture book about the power of being yourself and blazing your own trail. (from jacket flap)
For busy dogs . . . a busy day . . . of busy work . . . and busy play. Swimmer . . . sailor . . . soldier . . . scout . . . They all blend in. No dog stands out.
Why I like this book
On a busy street, one dog stands out in her colorful array of stripes winding around her long body and atop her head. A footprint medal finishes her ensemble. Everyone else wears a black suit with white stripes and a black bowler hat. They tend to stare, eyes wide open. Even the cars are identical, each painted a shade of yellow.
The colorful dog feels out of place and knows she doesn’t fit in. She decides to find the place where she does belong and is no longer different. And when she does, she is delighted to find dogs doing the same activities she loves and looking just like her, until . . . and here a phase repeats, helping young readers understand the story is about to change.
“But wait. Look closer. Can you see one dog behaving differently?”
This will have children looking at the spread more closely, trying to spot that one different dog, the odd dog that does not belong. But this time, the dachshund is wearing a Nordic sweater and a black cap and does not feel different or that he doesn’t belong. Instead, he enjoys his individuality. “I love to stand out from the crowd!”
Odd Dog Out is a wonderful picture book packed with Dachshunds. The dogs are literally everywhere. Young children who like dogs will love Odd Dog Out for all of these Dachshunds. Children not yet reading will understand the story after listening to it being read the book and should be able to “read” it by themselves with just the pictures to guide them.
More importantly, the story is about a sense of belonging. Everyone wants to belong somewhere, including “Odd Dog.” The other two are important to young children, some going off to school for the first time: acceptance of themselves and accepting other’s differences. Had her town mates accepted the odd dog “dancing to a different beat” just like the Nordic sweater-wearing dog is accepted when he “whistles a different tune,” she would not have felt so sad or moved away from her home.
The rhyming text has a nice beat and flows easily off the tongue. Odd Dog Out is the perfect story hour book or bedtime reading. It can easily start a discussion on self-esteem, differences and acceptance of them, and the need to belong. The colorful and detailed illustrations will hook kids, keeping them looking at how the dogs are the same or different.
Odd Dog Out is a captivating story with important issues—acceptance, belonging, self-esteem—making it a must have for schools, churches, and your bookshelf.
Someone on this busy street is dancing to a different beat.
When they fly high . . . this dog flies low.
When they say “Kick!” . . . this dog says “Throw!”
This reminds me of the “When they go low, we go high,” statement from Michelle Obama. Plus, the rhythm is wonderful. And I love reading those lines. With hot air balloons up in the sky and a glider just below them is funny. I also like, “Well, bless my bow-wow,” because it is funny and easy to read (voice-activated character required).
Check out the cover without the jacket. It’s usually a solid color or the same image as on the jacket. On Odd Dog Out, it looks like a bunch of skyscrapers with lights on. In the right-hand corner is the moon. Flip book around so the moon is at the bottom-left. Now what do you see? I see a dog’s head; the moon is its eye.
Available at Amazon
ODD DOG OUT. Copyright © 2019 by Rob Biddulph. Published by Harper/HarperCollins Publishers, New York, NY.
Copyright © 2019 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews. All Rights Reserved
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