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.
Using a fine example of the distributive property, Chip shows off his math prowess.
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:
DON’T EAT BEES.
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.
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.