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Always in Trouble

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"Emma's dog, Toby, was always in trouble.

On Monday he got into the garbage.

On Tuesday he ran into the road.

On Wednesday he ate a loaf of bread that Emma's dad had just baked."

No matter what day of the week it is, Toby's up to no good. His owner, Emma, doesn't know what to do! So she takes him to dog training school, where Ms. Katz teaches him everything a dog needs to know. By week's end, Toby has learned some surprising new tricks, leaving no doubt as to why he is top dog in Emma's eyes!

40 pages, Hardcover

First published January 1, 2009

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About the author

Corinne Demas

47 books72 followers
Corinne Demas is the award-winning author of thirty-eight books, including five novels (The Road Towards Home, The Writing Circle), two short story collections, a memoir (Eleven Stories High, Growing Up in Stuyvesant Town, 1948--1968), numerous books for children (The Littlest Matryoshka, Saying Goodbye to Lulu, The Disappearing Island, Once There Was), a poetry chapbook, and a play. She is a Professor Emerita of English at Mount Holyoke College and a Fiction Editor of The Massachusetts Review.

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5 stars
116 (25%)
4 stars
164 (35%)
3 stars
161 (34%)
2 stars
18 (3%)
1 star
4 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 96 reviews
Profile Image for Patti.
161 reviews
September 15, 2010
As with a lot of picture books, this was a quick read. I enjoyed the story of the "always in trouble" dog. And I was pleased with a few things:

* The family is African-American in a role that isn't common in books
* The dad did the baking (bread, cookies)
* The illustrations were quite good (I really liked the posters on the walls at Dog Training School; Toby the dog diving into the laundry)
* The daughter was the one to make the decisions about Toby the dog's training. And they were good decisions.
* The verbs are very interactive and interesting (wading, snoozed, yipped)

There's only one thing I wasn't overly fond of:

* The colouring of the illustrations could be more vivid.
Profile Image for Mehsi.
12.3k reviews373 followers
September 17, 2019
Meet Toby, he is Emma's dog... and he is always in trouble!

I couldn't resist this adorable looking (and sounding) book when I spotted it at one of my libraries. I wanted to know what Toby got up to and how Emma (and her family) would react to it.

And I frankly thought that the trouble wouldn't be that big, just some naughty stuff, but dang that dog really does everything that he shouldn't do. Each day of the week he pulls a stunt from small things like eating the bread or biscuits the dad made to bigger things like weeing the carpet or rolling around mud-covered through the kitchen. And no matter what Emma and her family do he won't listen. I felt sorry for the family, they love Toby, but they have to draw a line somewhere, and I was hoping that they would find help and not have to end up bringing him away to a shelter or another home.

We see Emma and Toby go to doggie school but it seems that his manners are all fine, however he is still naughty and destructive. What happens as the last resort had me laughing though, I am not sure what that lady did, but dang that was effective. But I wonder for how long. After all, apparently Toby has a knack for getting into trouble. Can you really get rid of that? I won't tell you more, you will have to read to see what the family does to make sure Toby can stay. And to save their home, as Toby makes a freaking mess.

The art is pretty adorable, I love how Toby is drawn. He really radiates naughtiness.

All in all, this was a fun book to read and I would recommend it. I am sure kids will laugh because of Toby's stunts and stuff he does.

Review first posted at https://twirlingbookprincess.com/
Profile Image for Berls.
1,028 reviews41 followers
September 24, 2016
My kids loved this book - the trouble the dog gets into is tons of fun for them. As a teacher, I like that it exposes them to the days of the week over and over. And there's lots of repetitive text for new readers.
Profile Image for Sarah W.
491 reviews48 followers
May 16, 2010
Emma's family has a problem. Toby is always in trouble. He eats whatever Emma's dad bakes. He gets in the trash, makes messes and runs into the road. Emma tries giving him more attention and takes him to obedience school, but nothing works until he gets some special training.

This book has some fun patterns that make it a good read aloud book. The unexpected ending should be a good laugh for younger children.
Profile Image for Lynn  Davidson.
6,175 reviews25 followers
October 30, 2021
Emma's dog, Toby, was into some kind of trouble almost every day. Emma tried giving him more attention - which made no difference, so she took him to obedience school. That didn't help with the problem, so she took him back. Cute ending to this story that is humorously illustrated.
Profile Image for Paige Graham.
21 reviews3 followers
August 27, 2017
This book grabbed me because of the title. After reading it, I enjoyed the book. Seemed like a typical children's book and recommend to teachers. The illustrations looked familiar, but didn't recognize the illustrators name.
16 reviews
November 29, 2018
I read this book because one of my students was always getting into trouble, and she loved this book, and her behavior improved. Can I say, two birds with one stone?
206 reviews
July 22, 2020
Cute story. We do not have a dog, so it helped my 4 year old understand pet ownership better.
Profile Image for Nicole.
356 reviews22 followers
November 7, 2021
Cute book about a pup, named Toby, that gets into mischief.
23 reviews
February 15, 2015
Toby is a dog that is always getting into new trouble every day of the week. Emma's parents are getting a little overwhelmed with Toby's bad behavior, so they send him to doggy school to learn a few manners. When this doesn't work, they take one final step that sets Toby straight and makes him the best behaved dog in the neighborhood.

The gutter and panel display in the illustration offers a lot of room for details in the illustration. Although, there is not as many different elements to be seen when reading the book for the second or third time. The illustrations are silly yet simple, and this always something to be appreciated. There is a lot of movement within the book illustrations giving off a lot of energy to the young reader. I thought that this book was better read allowed, as many children's books are, rather than reading quietly. I was able to read this book to my 2 year old nephew after reading it myself silently the first time. The bold text really emphasized the frustration the parents felt, and it was fun being able to yell that out while reading with my nephew. He absolutely loved this book.

Although there was not major theme in this book, I thought it was just a really fun read. Especially for those kids who are always getting into trouble, I think that this book gave them a fun read to relate to. No matter how many times Toby got into trouble, Emma still stood up for him and loved him. I think that this a great example for those kids who get a lot of discipline, no matter how many time they make mistakes mommy and daddy will still love them. I think that this book was made mainly for enjoyment and not so much to teach a lesson. I really enjoyed diving more into what was put into this book, and enjoying the simplicity of this book.
5 reviews
November 29, 2009
Demas, Corinne, Always in Trouble,Illus: Noah Z. Jone
30pp,Scholastic Press, c2009;1st edition;13:478-0-545-02453-2
$16.99 US; $18.99 Canada
(pre-school, primary)

Rating: ****

Toby is always getting into trouble. Perhaps dog obedience school can fix the problems. And if that doesn't work, there is also a class for "specially trained" dogs. Will that solve Toby's naughtiness?
This book is written in easy to understand wording. Language patterns such as days of the week help the listener to sequentially follow the story while being amused with the main character's antics. "On Monday he got into garbage. On Tuesday he ran into the road.On Wednesday he ate a loaf of bread that Emma's dad had just baked." and so on.Later in the book, the pattern is again repeated. Pictures are done in a cartoon-like style and visually illustrate the story for pre-readers.The last page has a cutout which visually illustrates the story's ending. Readers will be attracted to the book because of a high interest in dogs and also the mischief Toby creates daily. The book is a great story-time read aloud for the younger reader or an anytime story.

Profile Image for Laura.
2,047 reviews39 followers
April 7, 2011
A fun and simple picture book about Toby, a dog that is always in trouble. Toby gets into trouble over and over and his family tries different strategies to help him improve his behavior. His owner, Emma, decides to take him to obedience school. While Toby learns to sit and stay and even wins a special award, he continues to misbehave at home. The book has a charming ending that lets young readers know that dogs (and people) still make mistakes even when they know better.

This is a cute book that would make a good read aloud for kindergarten students. The pictures are simple and the storyline is fairly repetitive. Another reviewer pointed out that the family is African American, Emma the child is part of the solution, and that the dad does the baking. Nice to see children's books pushing outside of narrow stereotypes in such a natural way.
20 reviews
June 20, 2013
Always in trouble is a great book for learning the days of the week. In the book it showed how the days of the week are in sequence and how Toby the dogs gets in trouble each day of the week. The illustration is great the expression of the people in the book are of diffeent expression such as happy sad, and mad. This book s well as being a preschool book is also a emotions book too.

Learning Experience: For circle time I would read the book and ask the group if there wass a time when you or someone you knew got in trouble, I would then have the children share what happened and how did it make there Mom and Dad feel.
54 reviews
December 3, 2013
"Always in trouble" even the name gives the story away. This is a story about a dog that would always be in trouble with his owner Emma. Everyday of the week the dog would do something bad and he would get in trouble. So Emma decides to take him to a dog training. He behaved well, and he did what Emma told him to. He got a diploma for being good. This book is a really good book to teach Pre-K and Kindergarten students the days of the week. I believe this could give the students what sequencing means, the days of the week are on a sequence, one after another. The book also uses some repetition so it could be used for that too.
Profile Image for Marie.
343 reviews6 followers
May 14, 2009
Many families have a dog like Toby,always in trouble. Toby eventually goes to obedience school and wins awards, but still gets in trouble. After a week of private tutoring, Toby comes home a new dog...mostly.

This is a cute story about many children's favorite topic, their pet. Though the mischief gets a little repetitive, this should be a fun story to share. A little long, but doable in storytime.
Profile Image for Heidi-Marie.
3,854 reviews82 followers
May 3, 2017
3/29/10 This was too good to pass up for a storytime, and I felt a family age would work well since this had a bit more story, but might not be too hard for the toddlers. The PJ storytime group loved it. The older kids found the story funny and apparently had dogs like him at home. And the little kids seemed to like the pictures. They sat very still, so that was good! I like the ending.

And since the dog's name is Toby, I must have my landlord and landlady read the book, too!

5/3/17 Used in O theme (for obedience--which was a stretch that the kids did not get). I am not loving this one as much as when I first read it. Still fun. And the kids still enjoyed it. Just doesn't hold up to some of the others I get to do.
Profile Image for Bethann.
120 reviews1 follower
October 31, 2011
This is a fun book to read to children. It is also very repetitive and funny. Children enjoy this book, because it is something they can relate to if they are pet owners. In this book, Toby always misbehaves and his family wants something done. So, he is taken to obedient school, where he follows all the rules there. However, at home he does not behave properly. Now, the family is faced with how to have him behave well at home.
Profile Image for Tami.
Author 37 books71 followers
February 20, 2009
Emma’s dog Toby was always in trouble. Every day, he seemed to find something else to do. Emma’s parents were frustrated. They tried everything possible. They gave him more attention. They even sent his to dog training school. Will anything work?

Always in Trouble is a fun story about a curious little puppy. It really is like Toby has a to do list of trouble. Quite enjoyable.

Profile Image for Amy Wadsworth.
Author 4 books11 followers
November 2, 2009
This is a fun book about a rambunctious dog who is "Always in Trouble." Toby gets into the garbage, chews up everything he can get his teeth on, and digs up petunias. Even after some time in obedience school, Toby can't behave. Finally, Toby's owners send him away for a week. You'll have to read it to find out what happens! Cute illustrations.
190 reviews
September 30, 2010
4.5 stars. If you have ever owned a dog you should find this book amusing. To wit-- "Monday: get into the garbage. Tuesday: Run into the road. Wednesday: Eat freshly baked loaf of bread. Thursday: Bark in the middle of the night. Friday: Wet the rug." As you can see by the illustration the dog is a real ding-aling.
Profile Image for Shuntia Williams.
100 reviews
March 3, 2011
This book is about Toby. Toby is always in trouble even after he receives his diploma in dog obedience school. After spending several days with the obedience instructor, Toby is good. But of course he can't be good every day! This book is a hilarious read. This book can be used to teach children how hard it can be to take care of pets.
Profile Image for Nikki.
354 reviews14 followers
March 4, 2011
Super fun picture book! It was exactly like the experience my husband and I had with our first puppy!! Sassy dog, try lots of walk, dog still sassy, try a group class, dog still sassy, send to training school! I got such a kick out of this, and I'm sure little ones raising puppies will appreciate it just as much!!
Profile Image for Dolly.
Author 1 book649 followers
November 7, 2012
This is a humorous story that shows a dog who misbehaves often. Even after graduating from an obedience school, Toby the dog is always in trouble. The ending is silly, but entertaining and the illustrations are adorable and very funny. I loved that the story depicts the father of the family baking. We really enjoyed reading this book together.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 96 reviews

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