Written by Rowley Carter, Illustrated by Moira Kemp
Mathew Price, 2010
Pound Dog sat in front of the doll’s house and waited. “Are you coming out yet?” he asked.
The plot in a nutshell: A dog and a frog are friends.
Pound Dog entices Frog to come out of the doll’s house by telling him he has a surprise for him. He takes Frog on his back and they go to the pond, where a frog is singing. Frog declares frog singing to be the best and there are lots of frogs already there to hear the song. The big frog sings a song about summer and Frog asks Pound Dog why he can’t sing as well. Pound Dog lets out a howl to show Frog that he can sing and Frog is not impressed. Back at home, Frog sings quietly and comments on how good the singing was. Pound Dog, though, is thinking about his kind of music and dreaming of howling at the moon.
An online bio of author Rowley Carter states that he has written many different books for children, but I’ve searched high and low and this is the only one I’ve found. Maybe he published some under a different name. I was drawn to this book by its cover and the fact that Frog is clearly one of those plastic wind-up hopping frogs and Pound Dog is a very cuddly looking stuffed dog. Sadly, the book fell considerably short of its charming cover art, with confusing characters and a plot that made me wonder if perhaps I had missed some pages somewhere.
When we meet Frog, he’s refusing to come out of the dollhouse, which I thought might lead to a character who was anxious or shy, but Frog is actually pretty brash and even a little judgmental instead, so I don’t know what his reluctance to come out was supposed to imply. I like that Pound Dog is confident in his own opinion and ability, even after Frog tells him he can’t sing, but Frog learns no real lesson here and doesn’t seem appreciative at all of Pound Dog taking him to the concert. The illustrations, from Moira Kemp, were lovely throughout and I really liked her use of light and color in the scene at the pond. But the artwork was not enough to make me recommend this book. Overall, it was a disappointment.
And what did we learn? What I take away from this book is that everyone has different opinions and a different opinion from yours doesn’t mean yours is wrong.