Freddi the Dog eats everything!

December 17, 2010 at 11:47 am Leave a comment

Freddi the Dog by Lisa and Randy Herman; illustrated by Bruce Hammond; published by Fredericka Books, Corona, CA; 2010.

Poor Freddi.  Most people think she’s a boy, but her full name is Fredericka.  Poor Freddi.  She’s a sweet, lovable dog, but she does have a naughty bone.  When that naughty bone gets tickled…trouble follows!  In this story about Freddi the Dog, she eats everything in the house and gets very sick.  Oh, but don’t worry!  When Freddi’s naughty bone gets tickled, readers and listeners will get their funny bones tickled.

In my experience in an elementary school library, books about animals (especially dogs) are always in demand.  Books about dogs that get into trouble like kids are even more popular.  Add an interactive element and the book is a sure hit.  This book has all those components.  And, as a picture book, the illustrations have to further tell the story from interesting viewpoints.  Again, this book hits its mark.

I like the storytelling.  The way the Hermans lead up to Freddi getting in trouble works well and listeners will wait for their cues to holler “trouble!” in the right places.  I was a little disappointed that this great device was only used twice early in the book and then abandoned; reintroducing it near the end would have brought kids back into the story, especially after the stress of wondering if Freddi is okay at the hospital.  When everything that Freddi eats is listed, the descriptive words provide a great introduction to adverbs and adjectives, presenting a good point in the story to stop and ask for input from the listeners.

I especially like the look of this book.  The font choices are fun, adding visual interest to each page.  For example, the font gets bigger and bolder as tension mounts in the story.  Background colors on pages without illustrations are bright.  My only criticism is that, on occasion, the images are fuzzy, as though they were computer generated at low-resolution or in a small format and enlarged.  It was especially frustrating that the first two illustrations were fuzzy.  However, Hammond’s changes in perspective (close ups, overhead views, for example) are nicely executed.

Freddi’s story would be great for story time, especially for its interactive elements.  I would be sure to tag it with a dog sticker for shelf browsers looking for a picture book about dogs.  I’d also add the book, and the associated website (, to a list of dog books with correlated resources.  The website includes games and even space for families to add pictures of their own dogs.

(Note: A free copy of this book was provided by the publisher for me to review for Stories for Children Magazine. I include the review here, with some additional thoughts.  Please note that all books I review for Stories for Children Magazine are donated to a local tutoring program for homeless and marginalized families.)


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Disclaimers: Per the FTC regulations, please note that sometimes books are received for review for free by publishers or authors. All books (ARCs, galleys, library or purchased) will be reviewed fairly; no special consideration is given to anything reviewed on this blog. In addition, I make every attempt to avoid spoilers. Sometimes they happen inadvertently or because they are important to defend a review; not all spoilers have been removed or fixed. This disclaimer is a general statement included as a warning to readers.

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