Where the Wild Things Are? Weiner Wolf by Jeff Crosby
WEINER DOG SELDOM WAGGED HIS TAIL ANYMORE.
HIS TOY HAD LOST ITS SQUEAK. HE WAS HUNGRY FOR SOMETHING NEW.
LIFE WITH GRANNY HAD BECOME TOO TAME.
We first see Weiner Dog, dozing on his back, feet in the air, in his little plaid bed, in Granny's cozy little house, the picture of domesticated indolence. But inside, he feels doggy discontent rising. Granny dumps a can of the same-old-same-old in his dish and fills his water dish with the same dull drink. Ho Hum! Then it's into Granny's hand-knit doggy sweater for just another totally predictable day.
But wait! What's that on the telly? Weiner Dog feels his heart leap and his paws long to lope as he watches a pack of wild wolves streaking through a darkling woods. He hears the ancient call stirring deep in his DNA: AROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
HE HIGHTAILED IT OUT OF THERE AND HITCHED A RIDE.
HE TOOK TO THE WILDERNESS IN SEARCH OF ... FRIENDS?
In the forest Weiner Dog finds himself the center of a circle of slavering wolves, the real deal, hoping that they will see his true nature beneath his man-bred shape. He sheds the sweater, his last vestige of civilization, and faces them bravely.
And he is accepted into the fraternity of wolves! His new water dish is a forest pool, his new backyard, the forest, and his new squeaky toys a litter of cute cubs to play with.
And he has a new name--Weiner Wolf!
Now it's time for that moment he saw on the screen: it's time to run with the wild wolves. Weiner Wolf becomes sleek and swift as he follows his new comrades deeper into the forest, taking a few shortcuts under the fallen logs that the pack leaps effortlessly in pursuit of a family of deer. At last the pack stops abruptly. This is the moment for which the wild wolf lives, the moment when the chase is done and he moves in for the .....
WEINER WOLF SUDDENLY FEELS LIKE WEINER DOG.
...AND WEINER DOG BELONGS AT HOME....
Jeff Crosby's just published Wiener Wolf (Hyperion, 2011) makes perfect use of his spare but evocative text and his beautiful cinematographic illustrations in a fine reworking of the old "back in your own backyard" theme, so ably executed in recent years in Avi's excellent novel, The Good Dog and Susan Meddaugh's comic Martha Speaks: Leader of the Pack, and a tale which recalls Sendak's classic Where the Wild Things Are. Jeff Crosby here has the right stuff, gorgeous dog's-eye views of Weiner's world, from Granny's sunbeam-lit cottage to the glades of the deep woods where shafts of sunlight spotlight Weiner Dog's temporary transformation in the wild. This one is a must-have for the year thus far, a standout that has all the components of a memorable picture book for all the right reasons.
As Publishers Weekly puts it succinctly,"This wiener's a winner!"