Review: Dog in Charge by K. L. Going

dog in charge

Dog in Charge by K. L. Going, illustrated by Dan Santat

Dog had been busy all day.  He had sat, stayed and even danced dressed in a pink ribbon and tutu.  But his entire day changed when he was left in charge of the cats when the humans left.  Dog knew just what to do.  He would have the cats sit and stay.  But before he could order the cats around, all five of them had completely disappeared.  One-by-one dog found the cats.  They were lapping milk on the kitchen counter, hiding in the fireplace, in the clothes hamper, in bed, and putting on makeup.  Dog had to think of something quick!  Then he had a great idea: cat treats!  Unfortunately, they smelled so delicious that he couldn’t help himself and ate the entire bag.  Then, exhausted and full, he fell asleep.  When the cats found him, you will never guess what they did next!

Going has a wonderful tone and patter for slapstick comedy.  Her timing is right on and makes the book a delight to read aloud.  She also puts on an unexpected ending that will warm the heart and makes the book all the more wonderful to share. 

Santat’s illustrations are done in a mixture of different types of frames that add a dynamic touch to the book.  At the same time, they bring to mind vintage cartoon characters and have all of their charm and wit. 

This jolly picture book would make a great addition to storytimes about either cats or dogs.  It’s one of those that you can hold until the end to make the little bodies stay still.  Appropriate for ages 4-6.

Reviewed from copy received from Dial Books for Young Readers.