#1288 – HOW I TRAINED MY DOG IN 10 DAYS by Norma Lewis & Tom Tinn-Disbury


Written by Norma Lewis
Illustrated by Tom Tinn-Disbury
Peter Pauper Press 5/1/2020
32 Pages   Age 4—8

Genre:  Children’s Picture Book, Fiction
Themes: Dogs, Humor




It’s easy. But you have to be firm. Dogs always try to take over. Don’t let them.It’s rude to brag, but it only took me ten days to train my dog Scamp. If I can do it, so can you.”

AND SO STARTS the training of a boy’s new pet dog, Scamp . . . or . . . is this actually the training of Scamp’s new boy??? A humorous and heart-warming ode to our furry four-legged friends! (from inside jacket)

Opening Sentences

“Does your dog need training? It’s easy. But you have to be firm. Dogs always try to take over. Don’t let them.”

Why I like How I Trained My Dog in 10 Days

A dark-skinned boy receives a pet dog, Scamp. In the next ten days, the boy will train Scamp, explaining each day to readers so they, too, can train their dog in ten days. On the back cover, the boy smiles wide as Scamp licks kisses him. The text reads,

“Best friends forever! With just a little bit of training . . .”

Anyone who has ever tried to train his or her dog will appreciate How I Trained My Dog in 10 Days. With each command the boy gives to Scamp, the dog does just that in the next spread. The next day, the boy relents, allowing Scamp to do whatever or go wherever he had told him not to do or go. Scamp never growls, or barks, or talks to the boy. Instead, Scamp looks at the boy, seemingly interested, and listens to the revised list of “do’s and don’ts” each day. This goes on for ten days, with a new “don’t” added to the list each day, and the previous day’s “don’”t changes to a “do” after finding the dog doing what he was not to do. By day ten, Scamp is writing his own title, making readers wonder if the book is about training your dog in ten days or how the dog will train you in ten days.

How I Trained My Dog in 10 Days is a humorous take on a not so easy chore: getting your dog to behave. The cute, gray Schnauzer looks innocent enough, but he has a calculating way of getting what he wants, which is nothing more than what the boy doesn’t want him to do. So, Scamp is a typical dog. The young boy keeps his cool throughout, never once getting upset at Scamp outwardly, but on occasion, he is visibly not happy with his new pet. Young children will enjoy Scamp breaking all the rules and turning them upside down.

Adding the illustrations, which are funny on their own, and How I Trained My Dog in 10 Days becomes a picture book young children will love, especially if they have a pet of their own. Young children will have a few things to say about the boy simply giving in and changing the rules, which can be the start of some interesting conversations with your child or between students and teachers.

A quick note:   The author and illustrator have a pet dog and cat between them. Reading the text under the author’s illustrated picture, you find she has a cat named Scalawag, who is bewildered as to why her mom would write a book about a dog. The illustrator has a Boston terrier, who the illustrator consulted while creating the spreads.

Just like the story, the question is. “Who created How I Trained My Dog in 10 Days?”  Was it Norma Lewis and Tom Tinn-Disbury or his un-named Boston terrier with her cat Scalawag watching over the dog’s shoulder, full of disdain the story is not about training your cat? (Sorry, Scalawag, but after seven cats I can tell you one fact about cats: their behavior is not trainable.)

If you love stories with pets or funny picture books, you will get both in How I Trained My Dog in 10 Days. There is repetition, to help your child learn to read, and laughs to keep things light.

Illustrations Rendered digitally.

Available at Amazon:  How I Trained My Dog in 10 Days

HOW I TRAINED MY DOG IN 10 DAYS. Text Copyright © 2020 by Norma Lewis. Illustrations copyright © 2020 by Tom Tinn-Disbury. Published by Peter Pauper Press Inc., White Plains, NY.


Copyright © 2020 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews. All Rights Reserved
[560-word count (review only)]

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NEXT UP: MG – America’s Outlaws and the Treasures They Left Behind by W. C. Jameson – August House

AND THEN:  (NF) PB – Amphibian Acrobats by Leslie Bulion & Robert Meganck – Peachtree


4 thoughts on “#1288 – HOW I TRAINED MY DOG IN 10 DAYS by Norma Lewis & Tom Tinn-Disbury

    • A French Poodle? The only poodle I know has always let it be know he was in charge. Tell Jordan something, even a dead leaf, that it’s “Mine!” and he’ll grab it and run off. Otherwise a cute little rescue.


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