They’re called “man’s best friend” for a reason. Dogs have been by our side for thousands of years and are a source of joy in times of stress. It’s no wonder that our four-legged friends are the most popular pet worldwide.
But dogs aren’t just loyal companions. They’re also serious troublemakers.
This is only too apparent in Hélène Tinsley’s book Rudy the Löwchen and the Last Slice. This charming children’s book tells the story of a Löwchen — German for “little lion” — named Rudy, who just can’t stay out of trouble.
Rudy is a ball of energy in a 12-pound package, running around the backyard of his Pennsylvania home and chasing away the pesky birds. It’s easy to see how that much energy can get a little dog into some hot water. He tells the reader that “sometimes when my human mom is angry at me, she calls me ‘Rodolfo.’ I know I’m in trouble when I hear that.”
MYSTERY OF THE LAST SLICE
Rudy’s biggest escapade starts when his parents order a pizza. When they leave the box unattended in the kitchen, Rudy takes the opportunity to steal seven slices of pizza. But he doesn’t eat them immediately — he’d rather hide his snacks and save them for later. The problem is that Rudy doesn’t want to hide them all together in case his parents find the stash. Instead, he finds seven different hiding places, one for each slice.
Rudy hides slices under pillows, on the white couch and even tucked into the bed! When his parents come home and see the missing slices, they’re forced to go on a scavenger hunt to find the pizza. They find six pieces of pizza, but it’s up to Rudy to save the day and reveal where he hid the last slice.
AN UNFORGETTABLE PERSONALITY
Throughout Rudy the Löwchen and the Last Slice, Hélène Tinsley fills every page with Rudy’s lively spirit. The author uses the story, dialogue and even typography to create fun for the reader. When Rudy’s mother yells “Rudolfo!”, the word is in big, bold letters across the page. This playful type-treatment helps younger readers understand the different intonations of the dialogue and captures the emotion of a single word.
As we read from Rudy’s perspective, we hear his witty commentary on everything from his own haircut (the classic Löwchen lion cut) to the best kind of birds to chase (it’s a tie between chickens and turkeys). Kids will get a kick out of Rudy’s unforgettable personality as he dashes from one misadventure to another.
The illustrations in Rudy the Löwchen and the Last Slice pair perfectly with the book’s lighthearted storyline. Colorful watercolors of Rudy accompany each page as he romps around his backyard and hides pizza slices throughout his house.
At 40 pages, this story’s a little longer than the average picture book, providing an opportunity for young readers to challenge themselves. This book can also serve as a lesson for young children who may be asking for a puppy — that while dogs are very cute, they’re also a lot of work. But Hélène Tinsley reminds us that for all the shenanigans our canine companions pull, we still can’t help but love them. Rudy the Löwchen and the Last Slice perfectly encapsulates the stress — and the joy — of owning a dog.
Rudy the Löwchen and the Last Slice is available for purchase here.