Wednesday, November 2, 2011


Written by Dan Harper

Illustrated by Cara Moser & Barry Moser

(Harcourt, 2001)

You’ve seen them. Big, slobbery dogs that stick their heads into everything and tune out their owners. You may even have one. I have a dog who thinks he’s big—same behaviours, except for the drooling (Thank goodness!). These pooches have a will of their own. I like to think of mine as independent or even hard of hearing instead of untrained or, well, not so bright.

You know Truman is one of these dogs just from reading the title, Sit, Truman! As the supposed master barks this first command, the cat sits obediently (albeit, on a counter) while looking off in the distance and Truman’s little dog buddy Oscar sits and looks up at the owner, awaiting the next command or, even better, a treat. Truman hopes for a treat as well, offering a massive paw for and handshake, but failing to heed the “sit”.

Each page features an expressive watercolor painting of Truman and a concise statement from the owner, trying to redirect the independent/hard of hearing/untrained/not so bright dog.

“Truman, stop drooling.” Wishful thinking. A wet toy rests beside the lounging beast, his eyes closed, front paws crossed, mouth open, tongue dangling, saliva oozing to the floor. The owner’s arm appears in the illustration, a rag in hand to sop up the slobber.

Truman pokes his head in the toilet for a thirst quencher and later investigates the inside of the mailbox. (I smell the mailman, but I don’t see the mailman. Drat!)

Truman does whatever comes to mind. He’s a challenge, but a big, drooling, lovable one. In his own way, he’s a mighty good dog.

Any dog owner, young or old, will enjoy this quick read. The expressive, realistic illustrations will have children making a renewed pitch for a dog...or a second (or a third) dog. Come, on! Just look! He’s so cute!

Why, yes, he is.

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