Show Me Award Winner, 2010
Missouri Association of School Librarians. Voted on by over 80,000 school kids in Missouri as their favorite picture book!
Finalist for the Irma S. and James H. Black Picture Book Award
Bank Street College
2009 Grand Canyon Reader children’s choice master list in Arizona
George, a basset hound, has “a good life — until a stray dog arrives, a top-speed, curly-haired showoff who takes over the house. Sleepy George can’t compete. The new pooch, Zippity, rushes ahead to the grocery store and steals George’s sleeping spot. When Zippity gets himself put out of the house in a storm, though, George proves his loyalty and big-heartedness, bringing a satisfying conclusion to his annoying predicament. The parallels to an attention-grabbing younger sibling may reassure older and wiser members of the household that their places are secure.
—New York Times Book Review
George is a lovable and dependable basset hound whose humans have always been happy to have him around. When a stray comes into their lives, though, things suddenly change. Zippity runs, fetches, swims, and chases, and he zooms circles around George, who feels left out and displaced. Unfortunately, the newcomer is scared to death of thunder and runs away when a storm hits. The man and woman ask George to help, and he uses his trusty nose to track Zippity, rescuing him from the muck where he is stuck and frightened. The watercolor-and-pencil illustrations perfectly capture the exuberance and spirit of this tale. George’s wrinkled, floppy, lovable face speaks volumes, and Zippity’s energy is equally clear. Children who have had their own feelings of doubt, and of being overshadowed by the arrival of a new sibling, will relate to and embrace this story of each individual’s importance and place in a family.
—School Library Journal
George, an old bloodhound, has a nice life. He has a place to rest his head (his owner's knee), the middle seat in the family rowboat, and time to study “a thousand scents on the wind.? Bathed in the love and admiration of his unnamed owners, George is one satisfied dog. But when a yappy, wirehaired stray puppy joins the family, everything changes. Choruses of George's “Wa-rooo! Wa-roo-roo-roo-roo!? are punctuated by Zippity’s high-pitched “Ya-yippity, yappity, yeep-yeep-yeep!? George’s place in the world is now unsure, and even his sleep is disturbed by the squeaky snores of the interloper. But when Zippity’s skittish side gets stirred up during a thunderstorm, George's good sense—and good sense of smell—comes to the rescue. Hoyt’s watercolor-and-pencil illustrations detail every canine emotion, from wild-eyed terror to blissed-out satisfaction. Each spread brims with energy and movement, propelling the action and the reader forward. Satisfying sound play (grumbled and rumbled, stray and stay, dashed and crashed, shaking and quaking, turned and churned) and frequent dog howls and yips will make this canine tale a hit as a group read-aloud and a read-alone for new readers. Wa-roooo!
—The Horn Book
In this well-written story, George is an older Bassett Hound who enjoys a sedate life: resting on the couch, napping in the hammock and quietly riding on the center seat of his owners’ fishing boat. When a scruffy stray dog joins the household, life changes for everyone, but most of all for George. The new dog receives the name Zippity for his high-energy antics, and he amazes everyone except George with his tricks and peppy personality. In a wonderfully dramatic climax, Zippity runs away during a thunderstorm and gets stuck in a swamp, but George uses his superb tracking skills to find and rescue the frightened little dog. The two canines return home together in a satisfying conclusion to claim their own special roles in the family. Hoyt’s enjoyable penncil-and-watercolor illustrations include lots of action scenes and a variety of perspectives and formats to add to the volume’s appeal. His polished illustrations create distinct personalities for the two dogs, with big, laid-back George contrasting nicely with tiny, wiry Zippity.