David's Reviews > Bailey

Bailey by Harry Bliss
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's review
Aug 24, 11

bookshelves: picturebooks, fantasy, humor
Read from August 22 to 24, 2011

Bailey by Harry Bliss is a picturebook about a dog that attends school.

Bailey gets ready for school in his doghouse, which has a bedroom, bathroom, and closet. He runs to catch the bus, then travels with his head out the window. At school Bailey puts everything in his cubby, gives the teacher a bone, but has no homework because he ate it himself. Bailey tells about his favorite things, then does math counting bones. After lunch, where he eats garbage, Bailey gives a report on Fala, and has art class. At recess he bites the kickball and gets stuck on the slide. Bailey digs holes for planting in the school garden and howls during music class. Bailey dances, then enjoys book time, though he falls asleep and nearly misses the bus home.

It's a cute book, but didn't fully grab me. I found the comments and thoughts by the students to be too obvious and forced, and a nearly constant overt wink at the reader. I did enjoy the use of word balloons for people's and Bailey's thoughts.

The illustrations are well done. I especially enjoyed humorous details like the books in Bailey's bedroom: Clifford, Snoopy, To Fetch Sticks, and The Cat. Other fun bedroom details included the chewed stick, a cat calendar, and a skeleton picture titled Boney! In music class they are singing Hound Dog by Elvis Presley. A yellow crossing sign near the school shows a boy, a girl and a dog walking, all with backpacks!
I was less pleased with pictures of Bailey looking directly at the reader when chasing the bus: it's just a bit too overt for my taste.

I would recommend Bailey for use in preschool and Kindergarten rooms.

For ages 3 - 5, dogs, school, friendship, fantasy, humor, and fans of Harry Bliss.
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