Review: The New Dog

They call me Babykins. They call me beautiful. They call me other names as well. But I am Kiddo. The new dog.

A complete breath of fresh air (not dog’s breath), this book told from the dog’s point of view, is a delight. 

Kiddo has replaced old Teddy in the household and has inherited all of his paraphernalia as well. A water bowl, couches to sleep on, a bed with the humans, numerous lobsters, two dolls, a duck, a leo the lion. But most of all, Kiddo inherits a lifestyle. And what a lifestyle it is. 

Warm patches of sunshine in the backyard depicted by splotches of bright yellow paint among the boring wiggly grass, along with smelly dirt to dig in, a kitchen pantry housing full loaves of bread and miniature packets of chips. What’s not to love.

Speaking of love, I love this book. So much. I can’t quite describe what it does to me each time I read it. It’s not a beautiful book. The content isn’t especially wide-ranging or virtuous and there’s no deep message to uncover. It’s got that home-made feeling to it. Like patchwork. It’s got mistakes and scribbles and you can see exactly where one image has been stuck on top of another one – that sort of thing.

The design and illustrations are scatty and erratic. One picture has been created on a paper bag. There’s collage, lined paper as backing, photos and objects stuck together and repurposed. There’s no intent to hide any of this – like Kiddo, all the mess and wordage and chaos is right there on the page for us to see and revel in.

I think I love The New Dog so much because it’s actually a work of art that breaks the traditional picture book mould. It’s pithy, clever, funny, surprising, happy, disgusting. It brings all my senses to life in a new and unusual way when I read it.

This book is a total romp. It’s undefinable and just a little bit ‘out there’ on the edge.
It’s perfect.

Title: The New Dog
Author/Illustrator: Chris McKimmie
Publisher: Ford St $16.95/$24.95
Publication Date: May 1, 2022
Format: Paperback/Hardcover
ISBN: 9781922696045
For ages: 4+
Type: Picture Book

August 5, 2022 at 12:43AM DimbutNice