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Bad Dog, Marley    by John Grogan & Richard Cowdrey order for
Bad Dog, Marley
by John Grogan
Order:  USA  Can
HarperCollins, 2007 (2007)

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* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

John Grogan, author of besteller Marley & Me, now teams with illustrator Richard Cowdrey to present the popular pooch to a younger audience. Kids will enjoy sharing the pup's introduction to his new family, and empathize with the trouble he gets into. Richard Cowdrey's excellent illustrations are expressive (of both canine and human faces) and endearing.

The story opens on 'a very happy family' - a mommy, a daddy, Cassie, Baby Louie, and various pets ... but no dog! Then one day, Daddy comes home with 'a squiggly yellow furball with a wet black nose and ears so big and floppy, they looked like he'd borrowed them from an elephant.' The pup ate and drank what he shouldn't. He pooped and peed, and 'grew and grew and grew' into bigger and bigger trouble - 'Big, big, bad-boy trouble.'

Grogan proceeds to detail all the mayhem Marley causes - and it's quite a list. All the family end up saying, 'Bad dog, Marley!' (the baby's version is 'Bah boo-boo, Waddy!') Even when Marley tries to be a good dog, that poor pooch gets into trouble. (I especially like the illustration of Marley on the microwave, having made a ladder by pulling out kitchen drawers - my Siamese kitten once did the same thing.) And then there's the last straw, 'the Abominable Snowmarley'!

Poor Marley messes up everything and Mom says he has to go ... but then he redeems himself, and all the family can say is 'Good dog, Marley!' Bad Dog, Marley is a wonderfully heartwarming story of a lovable, marvelous mutt, not to be missed.

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