Back to School: Dog Days of School by Kelly DiPucchio
CHARLIE WAS TIRED OF GOING TO SCHOOL.
"YOU'RE LUCKY YOU DON'T HAVE GO TO SCHOOL!" CHARLIE TOLD NORMAN.
Charlie dreads the sound of the alarm clock's ringing on Monday morning, while his dog Norman gets to roll over and sleep as long as he pleases. Charlie look out his window and whispers a wish to the first star he sees.
I WISH I WAS A DOG.
In Kelly DiPucchio's funny wish-fulfillment fantasy, Charlie and Norman change places while keeping their own bodies. On Monday Norman jumps out of bed, brushes his teeth, straps on his backpack, and heads off to make the bus while Charlie curls back up in Norman's bed and snores on into the morning. Ahhh!
At school as Charlie, Norman has mixed success with the curriculum. The other kids give him a curious look as he takes Charlie's seat and begins to practice his letters along with them. At art time he carefully sculpts a clay fireplug. At music time he shakes a maraca in the rhythm section, and at storytime, he suffers through boring kitty stories. The other kids don't care for his way of making soccer passes with his mouth, and his teacher gives him timeout for chewing his pencil (and her shoes)!
Meanwhile, Charlie is finding the dog's life not everything it's cracked up to be either. It's boring home alone all day. He eats nothing but dull, dry dog chow and drinks from the toilet, and a trip to the groomer's for a toenail trim, clip, and blow dry makes a morning shower look like fun. And then when he does a little digging in the flowers, he gets himself locked in the laundry room and finds himself, literally, in the dog house, chilling out all night in the chilly backyard. Charlie is ready to return to his old life, but his parent's can't read his notes and don't understand when he woofs his plea.
"Be careful what you wish for" is the popular time-honored premise of Kelly DiPucchio's latest, Dog Days of School (Hyperion Press, 2014). Author DiPucchio and artist Brian Biggs team up to tell this tale, DiPucchio in a deadpan narrative description of events and Biggs using his comic illustrations of Charlie trying to drink from the toilet or fit into the doghouse to point up the obvious humor of this job swap. Kids will sympathize with Charlie's desire to skip school but laugh at his efforts to fit in as a dog, perhaps getting a new perspective on why boys go to school and dogs, well, go outside.
Kelly DiPucchio is the popular author of the best-selling Grace for President, as well as Zombie in Love, Crafty Chloe, and her recent Gaston, another dog identity switcheroo tale.