Thursday, June 16, 2011

The TTLG 2011 Picture Book Celebration: Book one hundred and sixty-seven

I have yet to meet a single person who is happy with their appearance. One friend feels her nose is too large, another says that her legs are too "chunky." We look in the mirror and find something that we don't like and that we wish we could change.

In today's book you will meet a dog who has no tail, and who feels very unhappy because he has no tail. He cannot enjoy his other assets and his good life because he is consumed by the fact that he, unlike all his friends, does not have an appendage that is wagable.

Kate Feiffer
Illustrated by Jules Feiffer
Picture Book
For ages 4 to 7
Simon and Schuster, 2007, 978-1-4169-1614-7
 Henry is a dog, and more than anything in the world he wishes he had a tail. His friends Grady, Pip, and Larry all have tails, and Henry can see that they are wonderful things. He doesn’t care what kind of tail he has. Any kind of tail would do. Henry gets so depressed about his tail-less condition that his owners tell him to go and find a tail. They want their poor dog to be happy.
   Straight away Henry goes to visit a tailor because everyone knows that “When a dog goes in search of a tail, he goes to the tailor’s.” The tailor doesn’t have any tails in stock, but he is willing to try to make a tail for Henry, which he does.
   At first Henry is delighted with his new tail, but then he trips over it (it is rather long) and Larry points out that the tail cannot wag. Everyone knows that a tail that does not wag simply isn’t a proper tail. So Henry goes off to find someone or something that will make his tail wag. He is determined that he will not go home until he has a tail that can wag. Henry never imagines that a wagging tail might not be all that it is cracked up to be.
   This amusing book explores the idea that you should be careful what you wish for. You might just discover that what you crave the most might not suit you in the long run.
   With expressive illustrations and a charming story that is downright hilarious in some parts, this is a picture book that dog lovers of all ages will enjoy.

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