When my daughter was little, she used to 'play' with Reeka, one of our dogs. Reeka is a very gentle soul, and she tolerated my daughter's attentions with stoicism and good grace. Today's picture book is about another dog who has to put up with a loud and rambunctious little girl.
Illustrated by Esperanca Melo
For ages 5 to 7
Tundra, 2011, 978-0-88776-964-1
Mr. Dash is a dog who has not one, but many pedigrees. In short, he is a mutt. Despite that fact that he does not have a very grand lineage, Mr. Dash is always a very gentlemanly dog. His manners are exemplary, and he is a dapper dresser. Mr. Dash is also the kind of dog who likes a quiet life. He lives with Madame Croissant, and together they enjoy their days in Madame Croissant’s gift shop, and their evenings at home snoozing (Mr. Dash) and looking at stamps (Madame Croissant.)
Unfortunately, on Sundays Mr. Dash’s quiet life is shattered. This is the day when Daphne, Madame Croissant’s rambunctious granddaughter, comes to visit. Daphne is a “little dynamo,” and Mr. Dash does not like her. Whenever he sees that Daphne is coming to visit, Mr. Dash heads to the park so that he can “read the papers in peace.”
One Sunday, Dash does not make his getaway in time, and Daphne gets her hands on him. Despite the fact that Madame tells Daphne that Mr. Dash “is not a toy,” Daphne proceeds to treat Mr. Dash as if he is…well…a toy. Poor Mr. Dash is humiliated, his dog house is turned upside down, and then, as if this is not bad enough, Daphne washes Mr. Dash and wraps him in a blanket, pretending that he is “a cute baby.” Then something happens that demonstrates that Mr. Dash is not only the most patient and gentlemanly of dogs, but he is also “a hero.”
This wonderfully amusing picture book serves as a tribute to all the many dogs who have had to suffer at the hands of little children. With his courtesy and gentle ways, Mr. Dash is the poster dog for good manners, and in the end, he shows even Daphne that dogs should be treated with respect.