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  Bookends: Dan Davidson

The Waiting Dog

Reviewed: November 7, 2003
By: Carolyn Beck / illustrated by Andrea Beck
Publisher: Kids Can Press
32 pages, $17.95

Times are changing. Once there was a great fuss over Where the Wild Things Are. Once upon a time we denatured old Loonie Tunes cartoons because they might affect impressionable youngsters. Robert Munsch once had trouble getting into print with a book about a fart.

And now we have The Waiting Dog.

This is potentially a scary ride. Our unidentified canine narrator sits by the mail slot and imagines, in somewhat irregular rhythm and rhyme, just what he (or she) would do if only the postal carrier could somehow be dragged in past that little flap.

There follows a gourmet guided tour of the human body, in all its gory, glorious detail. Nearly every part is mentioned as it is consumed. Thatís right! The pooch eats the postie.

Well, only in an imaginary sense, of course, but it is all pretty graphic. Even though nearly all of the panels are in that thought balloon style of frame that tells you itís not actually happening, some of the pictures are pretty disturbing.

The Waiting Dog is a clever book, but I donít think I could recommend it for the ages 8 and up crowd that itís rated for. Itís a good spoof, but I would hold this one back for a few years. Itís more than a little gross.

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