Review: The Best Days are Dog Days
A sturdy-looking French bulldog, clearly a beloved member of the family, narrates this story of a day spent with his humans—Sis, Mom, and Dad. The day begins with dog and Sis asleep in bed together (“ZZZZZZZ”). The friends/siblings wake, eat breakfast, and then head outside. Each makes a friend, Sis at the playground and our narrator at the dog park (“Hello!” “Hello!” / “Sniff!” “Sniff!”). Together pup and Sis chase a squirrel, separately they take potty breaks, and then the whole family rides to the market—on a three-seat tandem bike, bulldog napping in a basket up front. After dinner, it’s time for a bath, then brushing teeth (“Minty!” / “Beefy!”), and finally, a story (for Sis) and a belly rub (for guess who).
As in Meshon’s Take Me Out to the Yakyu, the page design makes clever use of the gutter, with Sis appearing on one side and her dog on the other, either in a single spread or in two facing illustrations. The acrylic paintings are saturated with bright colors, and the frequent dialogue balloons feature witty lettering (“RISE AND SHINE!” in yellow and orange 3D letters resembling sun rays; “WE STRETCH!” in elongated letters; “We love getting SOAKED!” in watery bubble writing). As Sis and dog fall asleep nose to snout, the shared thought bubble above reads, “We can’t wait for tomorrow!” Young listeners, too, won’t want to wait long for another “dog day” with this pair.
-Jennifer M. Brabander