Don’t Eat Bees – Perfect Picture Book Friday

Meet Chip, a dog who knows how to establish credibility immediately, or lose his audience. He claims he’s smart and experienced. He knows important dog things. And he’s not impressed with where cats, like Mittens, do their business.

Text ©Dev Petty Illustration ©Mike Boldt

Using a fine example of the distributive property, Chip shows off his math prowess.

Text ©Dev Petty Illustration ©Mike Boldt

And just when we’re lured into thinking he’s going to give us another stellar example of his intelligence, he pokes fun at his own kind. Believe it or not, these are all dogs. “Even that one.” Cue the giggles.

Chip proceeds to regale readers with a list of Dos and Don’ts, all pulled from his “vast knowledge,” mostly having to with what to eat or not eat, but the most important rule is this:


Of course, even with all his doggy smarts, Chip must have one fatal flaw. One very childlike flaw. Poor Chip. Packed with lots of kid-relatable giggle moments, including a running joke based on the rivalry between Chip and Mittens, this book is sure to be a winner for classroom read aloud, or for reading (not so quietly) at home.

Who do you think will win in the battle of the wits? Chip or Mittens? Only those who make it to the last page will know the answer. Kudos to Dev Petty and her impeccable timing, and to Mike Boldt for creating one lovable, huggable mutt and other characters who act as his foils.


Pair this book with another fine, funny canine instructional tale: Ragweed’s Farm Dog Handbook by Anne Vittur Kennedy.

Make an origami dog and cat or bee.

Try Chip’s math. How can you distribute 30 bones evenly if Chip digs 2, 3, 5, 6, 10, or 15 holes? For more complicated math involving fractions, how many bones can be distributed evenly if Chip digs 4 holes?

Title: Don’t Eat Bees (Life Lessons from Chip the Dog)

Author: Dev Petty

Illustrator: Mike Boldt

Publisher: Doubleday Books for Young Readers, 2022

Ages: Pre-K through elementary school

Themes: rules, dogs, cats, bees

For more perfect picture book recommendations, please visit Susanna Hill’s website.

14 thoughts on “Don’t Eat Bees – Perfect Picture Book Friday

    • Jilanne Hoffmann says:

      And what makes the joke so perfect is its timing and redirection. We’re set up to expect a different kind of pearl of doggy wisdom. And the illustration takes it over the top with composition. The cut-off head of the giant jowly, drooling dog, the long thing one, the scrambled looking pug and that disembodied pointing paw.

  1. Maria Marshall says:

    This sounds like a riot! I am excited to see this one, so much nuiance going on in the book. It’s on my TBR list. Love your activities, especially the math idea. Thanks so much for featuring it.

  2. authorlaurablog says:

    I had seen the title of this book without any context and my mind went to the various let’s eat crickets books and Mary Bone’s bugs for breakfast. This looks great and I will be VERY DISAPPOINTED if Chip doesn’t best Mittens in the end. I’m not going to even tell you what Charlie has eaten.

    • Jilanne Hoffmann says:

      Yes, Wrigley, too. We have to rein her in at the beach, or she’d eat every crustacean, dead seagull, seal carcass, etc. And when she’s on leash, she’s constantly diving for tidbits that people drop, including chicken bones in the park. You’d think we never fed her! Let me know what you think about the ending, LOL.

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