Art Dog

by Thacher Hurd

Fine art meets the contemporary super hero in Thacher Hurd's waggish picture story... read more

Fine art meets the contemporary super hero in Thacher Hurd's waggish picture story set in a oddly parallel universe where dogs rule. By day Arthur Dog is a guard at the Dogopolis Museum of Art where he watches over masterpieces by well-known artists such as Vincent Van Dog, Pablo Poodle, Leonardo Dog Vinci and Henri Muttisse. But at night Arthur dons a mask and beret to become the mysterious Art Dog, who secretly paints his own masterpieces on the sides of drab city walls under the cover of darkness. After thieves break into the Dogopolis Museum of Art and steal the famed Mona Woofa, the police nab Art Dog as the first suspicious-looking dog they see. Our hero paints himself out of one bad situation after another and catches the real thieves, of course, according to the super-hero formula. As one would expect, he quietly resumes his double life: low-key museum guard by day, unknown avant-garde artist by night. What makes this story extraordinary is Hurd's clever visual and verbal puns that transform Western art into canine cartoon-style superheroes. Children older than the usual picture-book age will get a kick out of Hurd's surrealistic humor, while younger children will enjoy the story as a fast-moving, brightly colored, humorous fantasy. (Ages 4-9)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 1996

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