Monday, June 2, 2014

[BOOK REVIEW] Dog Breath: The Horrible Trouble with Hally Tosis by Dav Pilkey

Title:  Dog Breath:  The Horrible Trouble with Hally Tosis

Author:  Dav Pilkey

Genre: Animals / Pets / Habits

Year Published: 1994

Year Read:  2014

The Blue Sky Press

Source:  Library

Content Rating:  Ages 4+ (Some Gross Humor)

After reading the breakthrough children’s book hit “Walter the Farting Dog,” I wanted to check out more children’s books about dogs who have problems that cause them to smell and I stumbled upon this little unique book called “Dog Breath: The Horrible Trouble with Hally Tosis” by Dav Pilkey!

Hally Tosis was a cute little dog who lived with the Tosis family and was extremely friendly towards everyone.  But, she had one little problem…


Everywhere that Hally Tosis goes; her bad breath would knock everyone off their feet including the Tosis family’s Grandmother Tosis!  So when Hally Tosis’ bad breath becomes too unbearable for the family, the Tosis family decided to give away Hally, even though the children were upset about this.  So in a last attempt to save Hally, the Tosis children tried to help Hally get rid of her horrible breath through various methods including taking her to a movie that would literally take her breath away.  But, all of these methods ended up failing and the children were forced to say good-bye to Hally. But one night, two robbers ended up breaking into the Tosis family’s house and…

Can Hally Tosis save the day?

Read this book to find out!

I have read many books by Dav Pilkey, including his famous “Captain Underpants” series, but “Dog Breath” was probably one of the most unique books I had ever read by him!  Dav Pilkey’s writing was cute and hilarious as it details Hally’s unfortunate problem with her bad breath and how it affects those around her.  I loved the way that Dav Pilkey made Hally into such a friendly dog who is unaware of how bad her breath is and she is always shown to be cheerful and blissful, despite the fact that her bad breath causes people to either run away from her or be knocked out unconscious.  I also loved the fact that the Tosis family really does care about Hally, despite them being put off by Hally’s bad breath and it really shows during the scene where the Tosis family is forced to find a new home for Hally and they are crying when they are putting up the “free dog” sign.  Dav Pilkey’s artwork is cute and colorful to look at, especially the image of Hally herself as she is shown to be an extremely cute dog who has a big smile on her face despite her bad breath giving everyone grief.  I also loved the way that Dav Pilkey shows Hally’s bad breath as it is shown as a green smoke coming out of her mouth and the images of various people being knocked out by her bad breath is hilarious to see!

The reason why I gave this book a four star rating was because compared to “Walter the Farting Dog,” I felt that some parts of this book were a bit bland in the storytelling.  I actually wished that there were more dimensions to the Tosis family as they barely have any dialogue (save for the scene where the parents decided to do something about Hally) and I wanted to see the Tosis family deal with Hally’s bad breath in a more intriguing way.  Also, it might be because I already read a book that was similar to this premise and had a more interesting way of dealing with a dog’s smelly problem (Walter the Farting Dog).

Overall, “Dog Breath: The Horrible Trouble with Hally Tosis” is a really cute book about how a family tries to accept their dog’s unconventional problem and how that problem could be used more resourcefully than they thought.  I would recommend this book to children ages four and up since there is nothing inappropriate in this book (unless the idea about a dog having smelly breath seems gross to some)!



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