Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Book Review: Bailey at the Museum (kids, dog)

Bailey at the Museum, by Harry Bliss (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2012, 32 pages, ages 3-5, $16.99)

Bailey is EveryKid!

Following fastly on the heels of the highly successful first Bailey book, BaileyBailey at the Museum is second only to a classic. Not quite as creative all the way through, though certainly so in ‘spots,’ the museum book is, nevertheless, cute, in large part due to the Bailey depictions – both illustrations and words created by Harry Bliss, cartoonist and cover artist for the New Yorker magazine.

Dotted, spotted Bailey with the smug yet friendly expression is one dog everyone loves and wants to hug (though not a good idea unless the dog is stuffed)

Just as every family needs a good dog and every kid needs a best friend, so, too, does every elementary school class need a dog like Bailey, every kid’s best buddy, especially on a field trip to the Museum of Natural History.

That Fabulous Grin, the Famous Furiously Fast Wag, Those Expressive Eyes

Bailey is the canine cutie-pie who does everything wrong (for all the right reasons) so every kid looks good (seemingly angelic), but Bailey also has a generous heart of gold so every kid wants to be his Buddy. And, being a dog, Bailey is very interested in the bones at the museum. But, he soon finds out DINOSAUR BONES ARE NOT SNACKS and gets a new Buddy as a result – a museum guard who reads on his lunch break – a book titled Guarding Stuff.

And the Plot Goes on. . . .

Sometimes shown four-footed and dog-like, and sometimes two-footed and kid-like, Bailey does what every kid really wants to do – and gets away with it, slurpy kisses and all!

Bailey finds his likeness on a totem pole, takes a power nap in a teepee and falls behind his class. Oh, dear? How will he ever find them in the huge museum?

And Now, for Adults

For adults, the page that tops the show depicts the framed drawing of the evolution of humans from an ape ‘growing up’ into a man on the wall just above a line of museum-goers - Bailey followed by students (in height order), their teacher and the museum guard.

For more Bailey cartoons on an adult level (more serious than kidlike), check out the author-illustrator’s Bailey’s cartoon webpage here and his dog cartoons here.

Caveat: DogEvals purchases products for review unless otherwise stated. This book was borrowed from the public library.

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