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Bad Dog

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  794 ratings  ·  157 reviews
The differences between cats and dogs have never been funnier! In this hilarious new story from the illustrator of I Don't Want to Be a Frog, a little girl really, really wants a dog... but gets a cat instead!

"Look what I got for my birthday! A pet dog!" says a little girl holding a... cat? Rocky doesn't listen or obey like all the other dogs. (Because Rocky is a cat.) And
ebook, 40 pages
Published October 1st 2019 by Doubleday Books
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Average rating 4.18  · 
Rating details
 ·  794 ratings  ·  157 reviews

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La Coccinelle
Nov 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children
This adorably illustrated book is about a little girl who asks for a dog for her birthday and gets one... sort of. Rocky isn't like most dogs: she doesn't like to go for walks, she won't obey commands, and she really doesn't like water. The girl concludes that Rocky's a pretty bad dog. But there are some things about Rocky that aren't so bad, either: she doesn't bark at the mailman and she doesn't chew up the girl's toys. Eventually, the kid concludes that Rocky would make a pretty good cat... w ...more
Rod Brown
Ha! Ha! Rocky's a bad dog because she's a cat! Simple concept with a cute little girl, a mischievous pet, and art that looks like storyboards for a Disney short film. ...more
Rocky is a very bad dog... she doesn't do tricks or listen to her human's orders. She's very good at catlike things though, like clawing things up and sleeping. Bad Dog has adorable seeping out of every page as Rocky's human tells you all about her! Every cat owner will find their own fluffy friends in these accurate illustrations of feline mischief & love. ...more
Maria Marshall
Nov 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-picture
What a hilarious premise and hook. I just had to read this book. I had to find out why the girl thought Rocky (the cat) was a dog and whether she would ever admit the truth. The book perfectly captures the studied indifference of a cat and the insistent determination of a child to believe that her one birthday wish had been granted. Slowly, the girl begins to acknowledge that perhaps Rocky is better behaved than a dog. Throughout, the bright, bold, expressive illustrations continually contradict ...more
Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*
Bad Dog by Mike Boldt. PICTURE BOOK. Doubleday (Random), 2019. $18. 9781984847973



A little girl asked for a dog for her birthday, but the dog she received doesn’t really do a good job of acting like one.

Boldt has so many cute books -- as an author and an illustrator. Bad Dog does not disappoint! The deliberately clueless little girl and the cat being a very good cat as superb. And I love the touch that the girl is barefoot - because really, w
Nov 04, 2019 rated it liked it
The fantastic illustrations are a highlight to this introduction to Rocky the cat, who makes a rather bad dog. As another reviewer said, that cat/dog mixup will probably only be hilarious to the youngest tots, but the illustrations will be appreciated by all audiences.

I'm not going to lie, the idea of a preschooler being given a pet as a birthday present wasn't my favorite part of the book.
Nov 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Loved it!
Dec 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens
Mar 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Spoiler alert...Rocky is a cat! Great illustrations.
Jan Polep
Jan 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Well, my short partner in reading guessed right away why Rocky was considered a bed dog by his young owner. it is hard to decide who is cuter...Rocky or his little girl.
Dwan Dawson-Tape
Apr 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Colorful and mischievously silly. ^_^
Feb 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Truly funny and sure to please the storytime crowd. Great and droll illustrations.
Dec 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
I've shared this with a few kindergarten classes and more than once have I been asked to "read it again" when I get to the end. ...more
Oh my gosh, so cute!
Read  Ribbet
Jan 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
In his very clever book with bold funny illustrations, Boldt imagines what might happen if a child's birthday present isn't the dog she wanted but a cat instead and the child seems clueless. The "bad dog" doesn't do anything anything a dog would do and seems to have uncharacteristic behaviors. Young readers will enjoy the juxtaposition. It is a good book to use to discuss the importance of assigning the right characteristics to each character! ...more
Barb (Boxermommyreads)
Review for blog by Apollo - 12 week old Boxer pup:

So the little girl in the book wants a dog. And she gets one. But it doesn't do the things that dogs should do (like eat dirt). However, it does like to play with shoelaces and with the fishbowl.

I thought the book was cute but my brother Cass has been educating me and I knew right away Rocky wasn't a dog! The artwork was really cool though and Cass told me to show you an example. I think little kids would love it.
Scottsdale Public Library
All this little girl wants for her birthday is a dog, but her new pet, Rocky, doesn't make a good dog at all! Could it be because Rocky is a cat?
This book shows the differences between cats and dogs in the most entertaining way possible. With the wonderful illustrations, kids will want to read it again and again. -Jen K.
Rachael Bookfairs
Jun 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rocky the cat is a pretty bad dog. Cute.
Nov 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Cute story and pictures
Dec 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Not exactly original but so soo flipping cute. I cackled at the expressions though the entire book. Might pair with pigeon wants a puppy for storytime someday.
Nov 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Little girls can be very bossy and determined to have their way and the little girl in this story is no exception. She wanted a dog for her birthday and by sheer force of will, a dog she will have. Pay no attention to the fact that what she actually received is, and shall always be, a cat. A cat may be the only creature that is equally stubborn. She tries to teach her "dog" to come, she tries to teach her "dog" to walk on a leash, she introduces her "dog" to other dogs. The feline chooses NOT to ...more
Chance Hansen
Dec 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
It's ball of fur is bursting with personality and cuteness.

The bright green pops. especially among between the black title and Rocky's coloring. I really like the layout and it sits well on this cover. Especially as a thumbnail really makes this cover pop.
Both front and back cover are original.

The story is all spoken perception and as a cat person. I think it's pretty fun and playful pointing out the differences between Cats and Dogs. (I must be a real cat whisperer my cats c
Sometimes our expectations aren't quite matched by reality as shown in this humorous picture book in which a little girl receives a cat for a present. She's thrilled since she's always wanted a dog. But it's clear from the moment she pulls the feline from its box that it's a cat. As anyone who's ever lived with a cat knows, they don't usually do the things one would expect a dog to do such as come when they're called, go for walks on a leash or sit up and beg for treats. Quickly, the little girl ...more
Jan 28, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ehs
I can already hear kinder listeners laughing at me, telling me "that isn't a dog, it's a CAT!" They'll love the irony of the ways Rocky is not a good dog. Illustrations are big and clear -- but is it just me? -- It seems animated films and more and more picture books have a single best style for human faces. As if there were an "acceptable" facial profile. Almost too cute.

It's probably just me.
Gabrielle Stoller
Jan 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
There are many books about an animal (or a human) mistaking the identity of an animal for something else. However, this book made me smile. I think the illustrations have something to do with that. I really felt as if the temperament of the cat was captured. This cat really doesn't want to be thought of as a dog. ;) ...more
Jan 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A student gave me this book from the book fair. It is absolutely hysterical and reading it aloud to the kids is a riot, this is a great book to read aloud to students, they get engaged and excited. The illustrations are wonderful and have so much detail. The ending is perfect and the kids love it. I would highly recommend this book for teachers/parents to read to their children.
Isa Rive
Feb 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
You can tell immediately from the cover of 'Bad Dog' that this is one of those books where the reader is in on the joke from the get go. But I was hooked as soon as I saw the missing front teeth and excessively wide eyes of the star's owner. Funny, well paced and a great read aloud for early primary. For anyone whose received a gift they didn't want or cat lovers. ...more
Brittany Riegert
Feb 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: story-time-books
This is just a really cute book. I knew what it was about going into it(little girl thinks her new cat is a dog, therefore thinks the cat is a "bad dog" but can also see the good qualities in the "dog" and loves them anyway) and it delivers on exactly what I expected. Very funny for children who will follow along and immediately see that it is a cat and have a good laugh throughout the entirety of the story. ...more
Michelle Mallette
See my full review here.
This is a delightful tale of a girl who can't seem to train her dog - even without the cover, kids will instantly get the joke, and enjoy the unnamed narrator as she struggles to teach Rocky to fetch, sit, come when called, and stop scratching the furniture. She figures out a solution at the end, making this a hilarious story that will beg to be read again and again. An absolute gem! My thanks to the Grand Forks & District Public Library for including it in its picture bo
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Mike Boldt has been my name
for quite a few years

Some people call me an Author / Illustrator
I’ve been called worse

I like ice cream a lot

I still enjoy cartoons

I‘ve drawn since I was young

I read (picture) books

I like to write & Draw them too

I'm amazed and grateful every day this is my job.

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