Diane Prather's columns appear in the Craig Daily Press and Saturday Morning Press. You can call her at 824-8809.
Did you ever look at a dog biscuit and wonder how it tastes? Maybe that's why the little girl in this week's picture book eats one.
Bridget is the little girl's name. "Dog Biscuit," written and illustrated by Helen Cooper, is the book's name.
It happens this way.
One day, Bridget is spending time at Mrs. Blair's house. Mrs. Blair has a cute little orange-brown and white dog, and his dog biscuits are stored in the shed. So, while Bridget is in the shed, she takes a dog biscuit from the bag that has pictures of dogs on it and eats the biscuit.
The biscuits were made especially for dogs, but Bridget finds them to be good - salty and sweet at the same time.
Mrs. Blair finds Bridget in the shed and decides to have some fun with her. It's evident that Bridget has eaten a biscuit because there are crumbs around her mouth. So she tells Bridget that she will turn into a dog.
Bridget begs Mrs. Blair not to tell her mom. Mrs. Blair agrees, but she winks. So does her dog.
Even though Mrs. Blair is teasing, Bridget takes it all seriously. She imagines that Mrs. Blair's dog is remembering how he once was a child - until he ate a dog biscuit.
(The author has a great imagination, too. "Eat me" is written above a bag of dog biscuits.)
While Bridget waits for her mom to come get her, she itches behind her ears. Bridget believes she's growing dog ears. And when Mother comes and they wave goodbye, Bridget watches Mrs. Blair's dog wag his tail. She imagines that she has a tail, too.
Bridget keeps her tongue sticking out, as dogs often do, when she, Mom, and her baby brother start for home. Mom never notices anything different with Bridget.
When they stop at the butcher shop, the butcher tells Bridget's mom that she's got a "good little pup there." He's referring to Bridget's brother who is dressed in a little dog outfit, complete with ears.
But Bridget is convinced that the butcher is talking about her. Now she's sure she's a dog. And she pictures herself as a fuzzy, white dog with some fur pulled on top of her head and tied with a red bow.
That night supper is a mess! Dad holds his hand to his forehead because Bridget, sitting on her knees, has a sausage hanging from her mouth, and she has gnawed on a pork chop. Baby brother has joined in and is throwing food over his head. Milk has spilled on the table.
The rest of the night isn't so good, either. Bridget splashes water all over the bathroom and runs wild all over the place. She won't even sit still for a story. When Mom puts her to bed, Bridget curls up like a dog. Mom still doesn't notice anything.
Boy, Bridget wishes she hadn't eaten that dog biscuit.
That night, Mrs. Blair's dog comes to Bridget's house to get her to join a wild dog pack. Bridget has a wonderful time with the dogs. Sausages fall from the sky, and there's a moonlit milkshake pool. That's not all, either.
For the first time, Bridget is glad she ate the biscuit, but then :
This is a fun book for young readers. Published by Farrar Straus Giroux (2008), the book costs $16.00 in hardcover. It also can be found at the Craig Moffat County Library.
Copyright Diane Prather, 2009