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Little Brown

3.30  ·  Rating details ·  439 ratings  ·  135 reviews
A grumpy and lonely little dog at the dog park decides to take matters into his own paws.

Little Brown is one cranky canine because no one ever plays with him at the dog park. Or maybe no one ever plays with him because he is cranky. Either way, Little Brown decides today is the day to take action, so he takes all of the toys and sticks and blankets from all of the dogs at
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published October 2nd 2018 by Beach Lane Books
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Average rating 3.30  · 
Rating details
 ·  439 ratings  ·  135 reviews

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Jan 23, 2019 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: ???

Little Brown was cranky.

Probably because no one ever played with him.

Or maybe no one ever played with him because he was cranky.

At this point, it was hard to know.

This book is a bit depressing. It's about a bunch of dogs (~17) who live in a dog shelter and they've been let loose into the dog run to play.

I know the summary on GR says it's a dog park, but frankly I don't believe the summary on GR. It's a shelter. None of these dogs are wearing collars and all file back into a grey cinder-block
La Coccinelle
Sep 29, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children
Little Brown is kind of a jerk. He steals all the other dogs' toys, presumably because he wants to be included. The synopsis asks, "What will happen now?" The answer, unfortunately, is, "Not much."

I don't like open-ended books at the best of times. Even for adults. I like some resolution to the stories I read. If I've put in the time to read the whole story, I want to know how it's going to end. The whole "let's let the reader decide what happens" is a cop-out, as far as I'm concerned. I
Dec 26, 2018 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Frazee Fans / Readers Looking for Children's Stories About Playground Behavior
Little Brown was a very cranky dog. The other dogs in the play-yard wouldn't play with him, and whether this was because he was cranky, or he was cranky because of this, the situation remained unresolved. When our canine anti-hero went on a stealing spree, amassing all of the other dog's playthings in a pile that he refused to surrender, it led to a face-off. Would the other dogs agree to play with Little Brown? Would Little Brown return the playthings...?

Readers expecting a sweeter, more
Michele Knott
Wow, I'm already thinking of so many ways to use this book.
This is one of those books that people may love or hate over the open ending. I think it's a book that will spark a lot of great discussion.
Oct 03, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-in-2018
It's more like 1.5 stars.

I had a lot of issues with this children's book. The main dog is depicted as cranky and wonders if it's cranky because no one will play with him or maybe no one will play with him because he's cranky. When I read the first page I honestly thought this was going to be a thoughtful book about social anxiety and how it manifests. But, nope. This was just a cranky dog who then goes on a stealing spree because the others won't play with him.

And the book just ends. Nothing
Jun 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
When it's raining too hard to have recess outside, read this to your K-6 students instead.
Or read it during the 'welcome to school' unit right away.
Nov 07, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: picture-books
Really enjoyed this until the end. It was a cop out. The whole story built up to a moment no decision is made and nothing happens.
Hannah (Vamp of Savannah)
Nov 08, 2018 rated it did not like it
Wish I could give it NO stars. It is a bleak, awful story with no resolution. How dare Marla Franzee depict dogs this way?

What a hateful, depressing book. How did this get published?
Jan 25, 2019 rated it liked it
Little Brown is a cranky canine. When he steals the toys and blanket and bed of the other dogs, will the dogs play with him if he gives it all back, or will they not play with him even if he returns their stuff? The dogs are thinking "Is Little Brown cranky because we don't play with him?" "Or do we not play with him because he is cranky?" It's all too difficult to figure out. "Maybe tomorrow they would know what to do."

The ending is realistic, open-ended. This is not the typical resolution of a
Jan 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It takes a LOT for a picture book to surprise me these days. The ending here was so unexpected, I laughed right out loud. I LOVED it! A person who understands dogs definitely wrote this. There's no moral, no "happy ending," no resolution at all, really, but great illustrations and a lot to talk about with whoever may be reading this book together. More like this, please!
Baby Bookworm
Oct 25, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: our-reviews

This review was originally written for The Baby Bookworm. Visit us for new picture books reviews daily!

Hello, friends! Our book today is Little Brown by Marla Frazee, the tale of a very cranky dog.

Little Brown is very cranky. The other dogs don’t play with him – he’s not sure if he’s cranky because they don’t to play, or if they don’t want to play because he’s cranky. Instead, he watches the other dogs from a corner of their chain-link enclosure (a dog park? Doggie daycare? Animal shelter?) –
May 04, 2018 rated it it was ok
Comme ci comme ca. Marla Frazee's signature illustrations deserve kudos. The text however, is quite frankly gloomy. The questions pondered by the cranky main character seem rather unsettling. No resolution which I suppose is very true to life but when it comes to children's books I prefer a happy ending. I don't need sunshine and rainbows, I'm not the fluffy, pink unicorn type but this one left me feeling a bit unresolved.
First sentence: Little Brown was cranky. Probably because no one ever played with him. Or maybe no one ever played with him because he was cranky. At this point, it was hard to know.

Premise/plot: Little Brown is the star of this picture book. When the book opens he is cranky and lonely. When the book closes he is cranky and lonely. In between Little Brown and the other dogs--whose names we learn on the end pages--wonder about life's complexities.

Why doesn't Little Brown have friends? Does his
Sarah Hyatt
Jan 20, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: twins-read
This was a cute turned ridiculous book. The illustrations and different dogs are lovely. The beginning was wonderful -- I thought we were going to get some child-appropriate reflection on self-fulfilling prophecy, maybe some thoughts on a dog who acts badly because he doesn't know how to act better.

Instead, the book just ends. With no resolution. The dog is cranky, no one knows why, the end.

I can remember my first grade teacher drawing a diagram of a story on the chalkboard. A story has a
Alex  Baugh
Feb 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-book, dogs
The first time I read this book, my jaw dropped when I got to the end. It just wasn't what I expected. But then I realized the incredible amount potential it offers for discussing a difficult topic - why the other dogs didn't like Little Brown. He's a lonely, cranky dog who keeps to himself in the dog playground, sitting by the fence, with his back turned away from everyone and his head hanging. Little Brown wonders if the other dogs don't play with him because he is cranky, or if he is cranky ...more
Jan 03, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: children-s-books
I'm not sure what do about this children's book.

While it certainly is well-written and wonderfully illustrated, it's also apt to leave younger readers scratching their heads, but maybe that's the intention of this book.

A cranky dog steals all the toys from the other dogs and ends up in an existential crisis: Are the dogs unwilling to play with him because he's cranky? Did he steal the toys because he's cranky? Does he give them back? Does he keep them?

The ending is open and from this point
Dena (Batch of Books)
Dec 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was kind of a funny book. I don't know if it was meant to be funny, but it made me laugh. It's about a little dog who is grumpy because none of the other dogs want to play with him. Or maybe they don't want to play with him because he's grumpy. Determined to solve this problem, Little Brown takes matters into his own paws and does something that puts him in a stand-off with all the other dogs.

The weird/best/strangest part of this book is that there's no conclusion. The problem doesn't get
Oct 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I love it when children's book authors don't underestimate kids. And I love children's books that offer a little conundrum or ambiguity or (best of all, IMO) a twist. And Little Brown offers all three along with Frazee's whimsical illustrations.

This is a chicken-or-egg story. We know that Little Brown - a smallish, lumpy dog - is cranky. But is he cranky because no one will play with him? Or does no one play with him because of he's cranky?

Frazee explores the question, bringing into the story
Apr 25, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: picture-books
This book is depressing and ends abruptly. I can see what the story is trying to convey, and I understand that it's probably supposed to be a "thinker." But I would have appreciated an actual resolution more. As it stands, I can't give this book a blanket recommendation. If you really know your audience and plan to use as it a conversation starter, it might work.
Theresa Grissom
Mar 08, 2019 rated it liked it
I was really liking this book until the end. I thought it was a great book about someone feeling left out and how they could be included. But... the end? I just don't get it. Love the illustrations and the original idea.
Apr 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: pbf-dogs
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Miss Lou
Dec 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I love Marla Frazee. There's nothing I don't love about every bit of her.
Cheriee Weichel
Jan 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book just gobsmacked me. Poor cranky Little Brown. To be honest, the ending shocked me. I don't know why I expected anything else from the author of The Farmer and the Clown. The first time I read it, I was alone. I had to go back for another read to make sure I hadn't missed anything.

Today I read it to a group of grade 1's and 2's.

They responded with, "Wait! Huh? That's not the ending? How could that be?"

The skits that followed presented brilliantly simple solutions for what to do
Lori Hayes
Jan 10, 2019 rated it did not like it
This could have been a great book about sharing and/or making friends. Instead, everyone just goes home because "tomorrow they will know what to do." Way to procrastinate y'all. The only redeeming quality was that the pictures were nice, but not the greatest. I do NOT recommend this book for anything.
Oct 16, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: childrens
It was not satisfying as a book all by itself. However, the purpose of the book seems to be as a tool for talking about empathy and playing with others. The dogs are cute.
Feb 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"What do you think should happen here," is the question Marla Frazee is asking in this deceptively simple-looking but thought-provoking picture book with her signature charming illustrations.

Want to talk about empathy, taking a social risk by reaching out, cooperation, sharing, making assumptions, painting oneself into an emotional corner or a large number of other questions with kids? This is the book! Frazee skillfully avoids being didactic and poses questions in a completely non-threatening
Apr 22, 2019 rated it liked it
I sat with this book for a little bit before rating it. I thought a lot about resolution and lack of it and how that feels. For me. For kids who would be reading this. I wanted the resolution here, and I think it could have been better with it. I get what she was going for (and I love the illustrations). The point is, we can't all know that just because we do the 'right' or 'good' thing that means we'll receive the social reward for doing so. Maybe he really is just cranky regardless. Maybe he ...more
Dec 22, 2018 rated it liked it
I am not sure if anyone draws animals as well as Marla Frazee! Seemingly with just the curve of a pen-stroke she can make a dog happy or sad! The illustrations are gorgeous. The text, well. it is a strange one. It is very open ended which is great for creating discussion among children and a parent or teacher, but disappointing when you are reading it alone.
Shauna Yusko
I’m not entirely sure I like the messaging here.
Tonja Drecker
Nov 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is the sweetest, cranky doggy with a very difficult dilemma.

Little Brown is a cranky dog and none of the other dogs want to play with him. Whether it is because he is cranky, or whether he's become cranky since none of the other dogs play with him is something none of them can remember. He watches them play and wishes he could have fun too...if they would play with him. One day, when a ball rolls by, Little Brown has an idea.

The story touches the heart. Little Brown is cranky, but the
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