Book Review: Tish Rabe’s If I Ran the Dog Show: All About Dogs

Posted August 9, 2016 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews, Children's

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Tish Rabe’s If I Ran the Dog Show: All About Dogs

If I Ran the Dog Show: All About Dogs


Trish Rabe

It is part of the The Cat in the Hat's Learning Library series and is a concept book, non-fiction, picture book in Hardcover edition that was published by Random House for Young Readers on January 10, 2012 and has 48 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

Illustrator: Aristides Ruiz, Joe Mathieu

An in-depth (for children) look at dogs and how they’re different from each other and from us from The Cat in the Hat’s Learning Library, it’s the Cat in the Hat encountering a number of dog breeds with all their varying characteristics in a standalone picture book to lure children into reading non-fiction.

My Take

This was deceptive. I thought I was picking up a Dr. Seuss story, but If I Ran the Dog Show is actually from The Cat in the Hat’s Learning Library. That’s not to say that Seussian characters don’t populate the story, however!

Rabe does pull in the fun with the Short-Shaggy-Tail-Waggy Super Dog Show — good luck to parents trying to waggle their tongues around that! She does keep up the rhyming, although it is quite labored as Rabe struggles to find words to “match”. She does lack that crazy Seuss touch, sigh…

The images are bright and cheerful. I had to laugh as I read the dog-as-puzzle pages, *shakes her head, laughing* I suspect adults will get much more out of this particular dive into dogs than the kids will. Maybe it’s something they’ll go back to as they get older…? I know I got quite a bit out of it. Although, thinking of dog brisket so close to dinner…no…

Using the Dalmatian to have puppies was quite clever. It’ll bring to mind the Disney movie, 101 Dalmatians, and pull the kids further in.

All in all, it’s a cute book with a lot of information about dogs that is intended for young kids, but the word choices are for much older kids. Still, if you have a dog and want to teach the kids about him or her, you may want this one.

The Cover and Title

The cover is a cartoon Yorkshire terrier (I think) standing on a pedestal atop a table with Thing 1 giving him a blue ribbon. On the right is the Cat in the Hat holding the dog’s leash. A slew of tiny geometric shapes in blues, green, red, and yellow stand out against a turquoise background in an angled border at the top with the library logo. The title itself is in a lime green with the subtitle in yellow. The author’s name and those of the illustrators are at the bottom in white. The background itself is a gradated purple.

The title reflects the Cat in the Hat and How He If I Ran [Through] the Dog Show.