That Dog – Perfect Picture Book Friday

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Title: That Dog

Author & Illustrator Emma Lazell

 Publisher: Pavilion, UK, 2020

Ages: 4-8

Themes: humor, dognappers, dogs, crime, clues, criminals


There’s a team of dognappers on the loose! They’ve stolen lots of pooches, but this time they’re up against a very clever dog.

The cunning Penelope Dognapper is very keen to get her hands on the latest rare breed, the lesser-spotted woofer. Her big mistake is sending Patrick, her accomplice, to do the job. He has great difficulty identifying the right dog–that dog–and in a house that also contains a snake, a tortoise, and a characterful cat, you can imagine the chaos that ensues as he tries to steal the dog.

And that dog is a very smart woofer. He’s a bit of a detective in his spare time, and he might just have worked out who’s behind the dastardly crimes. Will he avoid getting caught himself and rescue his fellow creatures?


Why I like this book:

This is a hilarious dog-napping caper, with decidedly snide and mildly subversive British humor, which I love. UK picture books truly are different to American ones, and I love this focus on two nasty dog-nappers, Penny, the boss, and Pat, the inept sidekick. Cool clues are scattered across the pages for kids to spot. But they will perceive the “evil” looks of the criminals from page one, for sure.

The pages overflow with funny critters: oodles of dogs and plenty of other dog-substitutes, but the hero is, of course, that dog, who outsmarts the crime-duo with excellence. Kids will find the canine-crime story a hoot.


Great discussion on all the clues can ensue.

Each week a group of bloggers reviews picture books we feel would make great educational reads. To help teachers, caregivers and parents, we have included resources and/or activities with each of our reviews. A complete list of the thousands of books we have reviewed can be found sorted alphabetically and by topics, here on Susanna Leonard Hill’s website.

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4 Responses to That Dog – Perfect Picture Book Friday

  1. Jilanne Hoffmann says:

    Oh, this look hilarious! I love the illustration style! Will have to find this one and read it to Wrigley, LOL. Cheers!

  2. Joanna says:

    Wrigley will bark a lot. It’s a hoot.

  3. Patricia Nozell says:

    Love that cover & the story sounds hilarious! Can’t wait to get my paws on it!

  4. Wendy Greenley says:

    Funny is the perfect antidote to my mood. Thanks, Joanna. I adore British humour which pushes the envelope. (I’m catching up on PPBF posts!)

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