Review Detail

Tiny carrots wrapped in bacon!
Overall rating
Plot/Characters/Writing Style
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
Waldo and Sassy are hard working dogs who scour the floor for meatballs and keep their humans' house safe from squirrels every day, even when the humans give them the Breakfast of Distraction and escape every day. They worry about their boy, Stewart, who seems very sad to go to school, so they work out a plan to get into the building and check out Stewart's evil overlords. Luckily, Waldo can speak human, so when he shows up at school wearing a trench coat and blaming all of his quirks on the fact that he is from Liver, Ohio, the teachers and students all believe that he is the new student, Salty. The biggest problem that Stewart is facing is that he hasn't done any work on his big project, and has even lost the Information Sheet about it, which spells certain doom. Once Waldo and Sassy get accustomed to the school routine (piles of meat for lunch!), they try to help Stewart with his project. They decide that squirrels are a great topic, and manage to put together a project that saves the day. There is a sequel in the works, Two Dogs in a Trench Coat Start a Club by Accident, due out January 29th 2019.
Good Points
I adored this so much that I can't even fully describe my love for it. Even though this book would be easy enough for strong first grade readers to enjoy, it has a ton of funny jokes that will amuse adults as well. I love finding books like Stick Dog or Big Nate that incorporate both elements-- it's like whole wheat, organic toaster pastries sweetened with Stevia.

I read huge passages to my daughters, who agreed that Waldo and Sassy's voice sounds exactly like our dog Sylvie's, and we have taken to saying "tiny carrots wrapped in bacon" at every available opportunity. Falatko has somehow gotten right into the mind of the dogs, from their complete fascination with all of the meat available at school to their insistence that squirrels are there to threaten them at every turn. The parents' descriptions of being at work and playing with office supplies were hysterical as well, and Stewart's delaying of his project is completely typical of the average middle school student.

This will appeal to all sorts of readers-- Stick Dog fans, dog lovers, children who are obsessed with bacon. Even sophisticated 8th graders will enjoy taking a goofy break and following these funny exploits.

The illustrations break up the text and add a lot to it. I'm not usually a fan of illustrations, but these are so funny, and complement the text well. While I could imagine Waldo and Sassy in their disguise, it's just as well that there is a funny picture of it for me to ponder.

Plus... squirrels!
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