My Neighbor Is a Dog

Image of My Neighbor Is a Dog
Release Date: 
April 9, 2013
Owlkids Books
Reviewed by: 

“. . . a refreshing and humorous angle on the importance of accepting others as they are.”

It’s a wacky day in the neighborhood to the delight of one girl as she observes a new neighbor moving in.

The child’s vibrant urban landscape shows off a bold palette of bright blues, red-hot candy reds, and party-dress pinks. Surely the tall, chunky building has room for a newcomer—even if it happens to be a dog.

But no, the girl’s parents object. “They said he would leave his hair all over the stairs. That he’d hide bones in bizarre places. And that he’d scratch himself in a not-very-polite way.”

But the cheerful child, her hair like an upturned white bowl and her face round and hot-pink, views things differently. She likes the way the dog plays his saxophone on the porch and how he blows bubbles out of his red pipe.

The contrast between the girl’s perceptions and those of her parents and the other adults repeats itself as other new animals move in. Next we see a pair of generous elephants that wash all the cars in the neighborhood. Then, a stylish, yellow-eyed crocodile arrives. The child loves it when he teaches her to dance. The croc even dresses up as Santa Claus and gives presents to all—“purses for the ladies, shoes for the men, and for me, a tooth necklace.” Yet, this animal, too, fails to win over the old timers.

As the forlorn girl and her family whisk away from the neighborhood on their way to a new home, we get to see an unexpected reason why her parents look down on others: They’re giraffes!

Although the ending lacks the quirky charm of the rest of the story, My Neighbor Is a Dog is smoothly translated with a refreshing and humorous angle on the importance of accepting others as they are.