This adorable book, illustrated by the author in watercolors, is about a boy, Frank, and a dog, Lucky, who found each other at an animal shelter, and grew together, learning as they went.
In the process of exploring their world together, they became interested in science. Science, the author explains, “is when you wonder about something, so you observe it and ask questions about it and try to understand it.”
For example, Lucky wondered about squirrels, and how fast they could run compared to Lucky. He wondered what snow was and whether he could eat what he found in the grass. Frank learned about all the plants and bugs that stuck to Lucky after his adventures, such as dog ticks and burdock.
They especially learned about doing experiments, i.e., when you ask a question and then try to find the answer. Lucky wondered about skunks. Frank wondered what a smell is made of, and how to change it.
They did math together. Lucky wondered, if there is one dog and three people in the living room, how many biscuits should the dog get? Frank wondered how much hair a dog could shed in a week.
They also explore the history of dogs and humans living together. Once when Lucky ate a birthday cake left out on the table, they thought about how “[s]ometimes in History there are different versions of what really happened, depending on who is telling the story.”
Other topics they explore together include art, geography, communications (such as the languages of Spanish, dog-speak, and duck-speak), and hospitality.
Frank is able to learn about “the whole wide world” because of Lucky, and he loved it.
The bright watercolors use a vividly colorful palette. The artwork is enhanced by clever textual elements, such as thought balloons, and workbook-like check boxes.
Evaluation: This humorous love story between a boy and his dog is also a paean to learning, and to all the wonders that can be discovered in the world by keeping one’s eyes and mind open.
Published by Greenwillow Books, an imprint of HarperCollins, 2016