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I Am the Dog

3.45  ·  Rating Details  ·  164 Ratings  ·  52 Reviews
Jacob is the boy.

Max is the dog.

Until they decide to change places.

Now Jacob gets to eat kibble, chase squirrels, and snooze, just like a real dog. Max brushes his teeth, goes to school, and plays video games, just like a real boy. The question is: Who has the better deal?

Story maestro Daniel Pinkwater collaborates once again with the gifted illustrator Jack E. Davis for a
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published September 21st 2010 by HarperCollins (first published October 7th 2009)
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Lisa Vegan
I would have loved this book as a kid as it would be fun to think of a kid and dog changing places and imagining what that would be like. But, as an adult, I say: more Bad Bears, more Bad Bears books!

I feel guilty because while the quirky art matched the wacky story, I really didn’t enjoy the illustrations.

The story was fun but not outstanding. I loved the last line, but I’m not so sure I agreed with it, though maybe I do. I love dogs and this was a fun book, but in my opinion not one of the bet
What an amazing book/story! A boy and his dog switch places for a day... can you imagine being your pet, a.k.a., best friend for a day?
Stunning, big, colorful illustrations complement the story and the lesson we get in the final page is the best <3

I have to add that I LOVED how his mother doesn't even question what they are doing, she just goes along with it (but watching over), and for me, that shows so much love and care.
Jan 10, 2016 Melki rated it really liked it
Freaky Friday comes for a dog and his boy!

I loved the silly illustrations that made everyone look sort of like a sleazy used-car salesman.
Emily Goldsmith
Apr 25, 2016 Emily Goldsmith rated it it was amazing

‘I Am The Dog,’ is a children’s story about a little boy called Jacob who swaps lives with his pet dog, Max for the day. Jacob decides before going to sleep the night before that he would like to spend the day living the life of Max and consequently, wakes up the next morning in the dog basket. However, Jacob and Max have not swapped bodies, they have just taken on each other’s persona.
Jacobs’s parents do not seem at all dismayed when Jacob tells them that he is the dog and asks for his breakfas
Hunter Branch
Mar 28, 2016 Hunter Branch marked it as to-read
This book tells the story of Jacob and his dog Max, who decide that they are going to switch places. Max does human things like going to school, playing with Jacob “his dog”, doing homework, and play video games. Jacob, on the other hand, did dog things like playing fetch, eating kibble and Max’s homework, and running around outside. At the end of the day Max and Jacob switch back and in the morning Max is the dog and Jacob is a boy just like they had been before they decided to switch places. T ...more
Evan Molin
Dec 06, 2015 Evan Molin rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
This book is about a boy and his dog Max. One day they decided to switch places, where the boy acted like the dog, and Max acted like he was the boy. Even when it came to going to school, the dog Max went instead of the boy. Then the boy went to the park and did dog-like things, like chasing squirrels and playing fetch with a ball. It shows all of the interesting things that they did while they were acting like each other. At the end of the book, the boy finally decides that being a dog is bette ...more
Feb 13, 2016 Scott rated it really liked it
Shelves: children
Pretty amusing book about what happens when a kid and his dog decide to change places for the day. I myself prefer the Pinkwater illustrations from earlier books but still a good read.
Jun 07, 2011 Sarah rated it it was amazing
Yes I would like to trade places with my dogs. I think miss Meya would be a good children's librarian, and I would make a great dog. I can chase the cat and sleep on a comfy bed for hours.
Michelle Otero
Aug 27, 2014 Michelle Otero rated it it was amazing
In all honestly I chose this book for a couple of reasons. One being, I know a few people, other than myself, who always wondered what it would be like to be their pet for a day. The other reason is the cover, a boy and his dog in a face off wondering what it is like to be the other, it is comical. The introduction to the book set a tone of a child telling about his day as his dog. I could just picture a little kid telling me this crazy story how he did everything the dog did down to eating kibb ...more
Nov 12, 2012 April rated it it was amazing
1. Rating: 5
2. A book review from Publisher's Weekly says, "Pinkwater (Beautiful Yetta: The Yiddish Chicken) and Davis give readers absurdity aplenty in this story about a boy, Jacob, and his dog, Max, who agree to change places. "When we woke up.... I stretched. I yawned. I scratched behind my ear--all the things I had seen Max do." Davis (Marsupial Sue) pictures Jacob crouched on all fours with a bone in his mouth as Max stands on a stool furiously brushing his teeth ("He ate a lot of toothpas
Deepika Pathak
Jun 06, 2016 Deepika Pathak rated it liked it
Shelves: pgce-2015-16
This book is a book regarding friendship and putting yourself in somebody else's shoes. It also explains how you can act like somebody else and appreciate their way of living which I think is important as living in East London everyone is different and have different lifestyles behind closed doors.

It has good illustrations so it is for a wider audience. It is a nice book to incorporate into your class.
Liz Todd
Cute story, great idea! I think there could be lots of fun discussion with this book: would you rather...?, what would it be like to switch places with another animal? Are there other details that the author left out that might influence whether it's truly great to be a dog? How could the story be rewritten to show the down side of being a dog?
Kaylee Bostick
Jacob the boy and Max the dog swap places. Max the boy has a hard time acting like a human. Jacob the dog has a hard time acting like a dog. Jacob the dog goes to school. I might use this in a classroom when working on retelling.
Jimmy Potkanowicz
Sep 02, 2014 Jimmy Potkanowicz rated it really liked it
This was a very cute book for younger kids (Kindergarten or Pre-k). It tells about a boy and a dog switching places for a day. At the end of the book, it says that they learned one thing from the whole experience and that being a dog had a better life than the boy. I would ready it to my class.
Candace Offutt
This is a cute little story about a boy and his dog switching places. I think it is a fun read that students can make connections with and also predictions about.
Lynne Marie
Feb 29, 2016 Lynne Marie rated it really liked it
I thought this was good, and had a slight twist at the end, which was nice. As always, LOVED Jack E. Davis' art.
Indah Threez Lestari
106 - 2016
Sarah Wilson
Mar 27, 2016 Sarah Wilson rated it it was ok
Lacked depth or clear message to readers.
The Library Lady
Nov 20, 2010 The Library Lady rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Typical Pinkwater madness. The art, which bulges and exaggerates in a style that makes me think of TV shows like "Jimmy Neutron" works perfectly with the text. Perfect for older preschoolers and early elementary school kids. Grab this rather than the recent Love That Puppy which also has cartoony art, but none of the goofy charm of this one.
Aug 10, 2015 Matthew rated it liked it
This is pretty normal for Daniel Pinkwater, a story that is so strange that you have to laugh, told in a way that makes it seem like it shouldn't seem strange at all. I love Pinkwater's odd sense of humor and this is a pretty good example of it. The fact that it's illustrated by someone as talented as Jack E. Davis is just a bonus. All in all, this is the kind of fun short read that anyone with a light sense of humor could enjoy. Well done.
Chinasa Izeogu
Aug 07, 2011 Chinasa Izeogu rated it liked it
What child doesn't imagine being a carefree dog? Well Pinkwater it the mark with his jovial book. It is a great read aloud selection for kids ages 3-7. In fact, I've recommended that we read it at our library for the Barkin' at Bach activity. On this day, the kids will get a chance to impersonate a dog and when their done decorate their own dog bone cookie snack. I can't wait to see how excited they get.
Jan 16, 2013 Romelle rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2013
This is a silly story about a boy, Jacob, who switch places with his dog, Max. I am sure there are lots of readers who have wondered what it's like to be a dog. In this story Jacob eats kibble, plays fetch, and goes to the park. Max goes to school and does his homework.. It is a simple storyline that relies on pictures to bring out the funny. Illustrator, Jack E. Davis, does a wonderful job at this.
May 16, 2011 gina rated it liked it
Aww! What a cute book. I love the imaginary play it encourages. I especially loved the next to last line that says both the dog and the boy learned something. I couldn't help but think "oh yeah? What did they learn?" a bit confused, not remembering any big lesson. Then you flip the page for the best last line "Being a dog is better." Here here! Can't wait to read these books I love to our baby one day :)
The main character decides to change places with his dog Max. He eats off the floor, chases balls, and eats Max's homework (Max had to go to school, since he is the boy!)

Great use of imagination and humour. I love this for my storytime, as it prompts dialogue with the children as to what it would be like to live as a dog for a day, and what it would be like to see a dog in their daycare.
Aug 08, 2011 Linda rated it really liked it
Another in the crowded field of characters that switch places but this was done with a lot of creativity and fun! I think this would be a good intro to a writing project for children about looking at points of view. They could pick any animal they wanted and then switch themselves into the role. The book included funny situations and the illustrations were colorful and comical.
I didn't realize this was by Daniel Pinkwater until I finished the book. Not surprising when I learned that. The book is ridiculous and silly and very funny. I enjoyed seeing the boy and dog switch places and thought it hilarious that the boy never got tired of dog things. The ending was great. This would be a fabulous school-age storytime, lap-read, or read-alone.
Nancy Jo Lambert
May 22, 2011 Nancy Jo Lambert rated it liked it
In this book, Jacob is the dog and Max is the boy. Then, they switch places. Children that enjoy stories about dogs will certainly like this one. The suthor does a fine job of playing up all the moments that would most appealing to both dog and boy to get to experience in the other's shoes, er and paws.

I delightful read that kids will certainly respond to.
Sunnyvale Librarian
Jacob the boy and Max the dog trade places for a day. Max gets to go to school and do homework and Jacob gets taken to the park, sniffs things and chases a squirrel. This role reversal will make kids giggle and invite a discussion of what it would be like to trade places with the family pet. The story and illustrations are sure to bring a smile.
Malika J.
What is it like to be in someone else's place? How would you act? What would you do? This story isn't my favorite writing, but there are some great teaching points in it. This could lead into a great writing lesson about perspectives.
Nov 06, 2010 Tricia rated it liked it
While I liked this book, my preschool audience downright loved it. They giggled and cackled over the story of a boy and dog switching places. The illustrations are absolutely hysterical and make the book work. Just silly!
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Daniel Manus Pinkwater is an author of mostly children's books and is an occasional commentator on National Public Radio. He attended Bard College. Well-known books include Lizard Music, The Snarkout Boys and the Avocado of Death, Fat Men from Space, Borgel, and the picture book The Big Orange Splot. Pinkwater has also illustrated many of his books in the past, although for more recent works that ...more
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