It’s hard not to like a story with (self-professed) simple stick drawings of stray dogs trying to steal some hamburgers, told from the viewpoint of one of the dogs. Stick Dog by Tom Watson won’t go down in the annals of high literature, but it is a fun and engaging story for elementary students who have finished up the Diary of a Wimpy Kid collection and are looking for a fix. Yeah, Stick Dog is another in the same vein of Jeff Kinney’s genre of first person narrative told with comic doodles. They seem to everywhere, right?
But Stick Dog is a cute story that begins with the unknown author (we assume it is an elementary student from the stories he tells) letting us know that he has a story to tell but that he can’t draw, so we (the readers) need to agree not to criticize his drawings. His dog is basically a box with legs and tale. (I’m not criticizing … just sayin’) Stick Dog and his pack of stray dogs are hungry and decide to steal a few burgers from a picnic going on at the park. Adventure ensues, as does humor (such as when a squirrel comes by and disrupts all of their focus.)
I imagine this book would be enjoyed by kids who have dogs, or wish they had dogs, and wonder what they are thinking as they eye the dinner table for scraps. Watson has done an admirable job of bringing us inside the head of his main character, even if it is a little square (OK, so a little criticism … sorry).
Peace (with the dog),