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Gracie's Baby Chub Chop Hardcover – 1 Aug 2004
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From the Inside Flap
Baby Chub was full of flaws.
He had no tail, no fur, no paws.
He lay about
On back and tummy,
A rubber dummy.
His head was bald.
He had a rash.
He ate the most disgusting mash.
Baby Chub Chop has come to visit, bringing chaos in his wake. Gracie and Fabio have their doggy noses out of joint. Chub Chop is getting all the attention. Whats worse, Baby Chub Chop is just about to walk. The big moment comes when he is alone. On his first independent walk/rampage he breaks things, he hides things, and generally creates a mess. Who gets the blame? Not cute baby Chub Chop but innocent Gracie and Fabio.
It is up to Gracie to sniff out the clues and prove that Baby Chub Chop is the culprit.
Told in hilariously rhyming couplets in the tradition of Dr. Seuss, embellished with delightful illustrations, Gracie the hound, first introduced in My Sister Gracie, continues to win readers hearts from Iceland to Tasmania.
About the Author
Gillian Johnson is a gifted athlete, teacher, storyteller, and artist. Her first childrens book, Saranohair, was awarded Honorable Mention for the Graphics Prize in Bologna in 1992. My Sister Gracie, published in 2000, was awarded the Alcuin Design Award and has earned fans in Belgium, Australia, New Zealand, Denmark, Iceland and Venezuela. She has collaborated with author Richard Scrimger, providing the illustrations for their books about Baby Bun Bun, which include, most recently, Eugenes Story. She also illustrated Dennis Lees The Cat and the Wizard. Gillian Johnson lives with her husband, writer Nicholas Shakespeare, and their sons in Tasmania and England.
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
"Bug baby was full of flaws,
He had no tail, no fur no paws,
He lay about
On back and tummy,
A rubber dummy."
The verse is humorous and colorful, although the plot strains a bit. We're supposed to link that the tiny toddler's destruction of the house (e.g., spilled ink, toys in the bathtub) to the dogs being away at the park. That short subplot is entirely unnecessary. When the "pillaging, plundering" actions are discovered, the Mother immediately blames the dogs, locking them outside "without their kibbles and kippers/Their ball and their bone." Although the returning parents blame the dogs as well, Fabio and Gracie show their family that the real culprit was the baby.
Of course, it's all in fun, but there's a mean-spirited depiction of the baby. The illustrator shows a bottom's up view of Baby Chow's rash-covered behind, and the usually cute, big-eyed, innocent looking baby is shown several times with an evil sort of smile on his face, as if he shows his true character to the dogs only. I think the book will get a lot of laughs, but after having just read equally humorous books that promote cooperation, I have just a little trouble with the message and the somewhat contrived plot.