That Dog!, by Emma Lazell, (Apr. 2020, Pavilion), $16.95, ISBN: 9781843654476
Emma Lazell’s follow-up to last year’s Big Cat is just as hilarious! Penny is a lady who loves dogs, and her assistant, Pat, is charged with getting them. But THEY’RE DOGNAPPERS! Penny tells Pat about the latest dog on her mind: he’s spotty all over. The thing is, Pat isn’t too bright; he brings back a spotty.. snake. Pat doles out a different character trait, and each time, Pat brings back the wrong animal! But That Dog is on the case, because the police are on the hunt for these kidnappers and the dogs they’ve stolen; and That Dog is putting together lots and lots of clues!
Loaded with sight gags and moments just begging for kids to call out, “THAT’S NOT A DOG!”, That Dog! is a comic story of observation and following directions. The watercolor artwork is cartoony and silly, with clues not-so-hidden around the spreads: Penny’s Wanted! poster is framed on her wall; That Dog reads a newspaper where Pat is the cover story; he even completes a crossword puzzle that lets readers know that he’s no ordinary mutt!
Originally published earlier this year in the UK, That Dog! is here on U.S. shores, and I can’t wait to see what Emma Lazell has for us next. In the meantime, publisher Pavilion has some great free That Dog! downloads: a free weekly planner, an activity kit, and a how to draw That Dog! sheet.