Monday, June 26, 2017

Book Review: Theo (smiley dog hunts for. . . . )

Theo at the Park (The little dog who has lost his sense of smell), by Jaclyn Crupi (Sandy Creek Publishing, 2013, 24 pages)

Simply Theodorable Theo!

Ah, Theo! What an adorable dog.

We had to read Theo three times the first time. At first, I merely thought he was a cutie-pie. The second time through I realized Theo was a sort–of Scottie, albeit a brown Scottie. Now I realize Theo is EveryDog.

Theo, though unlike the Theo I know in appearance except for color,
A Real Theo (credit: TLoehr)
is simply the smiliest dog I have ever seen gazing out from a book cover with his bevy of friends – a flutterby (butterfly to the rest of the world) and a pair of bees, perhaps portending what we will see inside?

The Plot

We see and read about Theo’s likes and his toys, but one day he wakes up, and, gulp! cannot smell any smell at all. Being a wise little pupster, he decides to retrace his steps from yesterday when he went to the park, to see if he left his smell there.

Can he smell the honey in the beehive when he sniffs and whiffs, the roses’ perfume, his favorite strawberry ice-cream? Nope. He heads along on home, hoping for a scrumptious dinner then falls asleep, snuggling in his bed.

Other Plots

Read Theo at the Seaside and Theo at the Supermarket. I wonder if he ever finds his sense of smell!

Lovely Lively Illustrations

Theo’s illustrator, Aurelia Verdoux, watercolored simple, yet fun and colorful pages for little ones to follow along with a cute little story.

Expanding Vocabulary

And now, back to our story: Theo strides into the park. He sniffs and whiffs.

My little reader and I love the perfect combination of repetitive phrases that little ones soon come to anticipate (which helps a pre-reader).


Is something missing? I looked up a couple of Theo reviews and discovered that there should be smells embedded in some illustrations – the beehive, the rose garden, the strawberry ice-cream cone, dinner perhaps. We only smelled a dusty musty book, but then I looked more closely and thought I could see a circle –shadow on a couple of those pages and imagined I smelled at least the strawberry ice-cream. Perhaps the smell has dissipated with storage and with time. Nevertheless, I have a call in to the publisher. (Sometimes, I have been told, it will take weeks to get a response.)


Little ones can imagine the smells (or you can put a drop of honey or strawberry ice cream strategically on a page, and a spray of rose perfume perhaps). And if your copy of Theo actually has the wonderful smells embedded, read this book many times before they evaporate. 

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