Allison's Book Bag

Flawed Dogs (The Picture Book) by Berkeley Breathed

Posted on: April 24, 2011

Berkeley Breathed’s picture book Flawed Dogs is so good, it deserves to be framed. But don’t, because you’ll want to reread it until its pages are ragged and taped with adoration.

In a “letter” from Breathed, we learn that Heidy Strudelberg became swept up with dog showing until meeting a three-legged dog named Sam the Lion. Minutes later, she retired to Piddleton, Vermont to transform a crumbling grain elevator in into the Last Chance Dog Pound. She also created a catalog for your consideration of the pound’s very available leftovers. The letter is in such small print that younger readers will probably skip it but, that’s okay, because the heart of this story lies in Heidy’s gallery of champions.

On each new two-page spread, you’ll find a portrait of one of the pound’s dogs, along with a biography told in quick verse. The dogs are so ugly they’re adorable and will have you searching for their counterparts at your local pound. Even their stories confessing their faults are so cute that you’ll still want to adopt them. For example, there is Bipsie. She sits grinning on a royal red couch. “A beauty in blues with some parts chartreuse, she clashed with the whole bloody place”. Then there is cute little Heather who fits in her owner’s hand and has so much hair her owner doubted “whether any of Heather was there”.

While it’s unlikely you’ll find the heroes of Flawed Dogs at your local shelter, you will find other equally lovable dogs who just as badly need a home. Check out Breathed’s book and your local pound.

My rating? Bag it: Carry it with you. Make it a top priority to read.

How would you rate this book?

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