Vinny Gets a Job

S. &. S./Aladdin. May 2020. 40p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781534413566.
Gr 2-4–Vinny the bulldog wonders where his human mother goes every day. When he finds out she has something called a “job,” he wants one, too. Lucky for Vinny, he lives in a world where dogs and cats talk, so he suits up to ask local businesses for employment. Vinny is lovingly illustrated, whether he’s on all fours or standing on his hind legs in his plaid business suit. His pastel-colored neighborhood is richly detailed with a flower shop, museum, shoe store, and—of course—a library. Text is filled with dialogue as the chatty bulldog approaches various businesses for employment. Unfortunately, his tendencies to pee on plants, eat leftovers off restaurant tables, and chew on bones in the museum get him fired from job after job. When managers are fed up with Vinny’s doggy antics, their angry shouts are in large, bold capital letters. But Vinny’s human mom urges him to embrace his doggy nature in the end.
VERDICT The story is so simple that it borders on shallow, but its message of self-acceptance is a strong one. A good book for early independent readers building basic text awareness.

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