Dudley’s Day At Home

Written by Karen Kaufman Orloff
Illustrated by Renee Andriani

“What does Dudley do all day while we’re away?” Sam wonders. Mom explains that Dudley does ordinary dog things: he eats, naps, guards the house, and plays. But in Sam’s mind, Dudley’s day at home is anything but ordinary. Delightful digital paintings depict the human activities Sam imagines Dudley is doing – which don’t quite match Mom’s explanations. Dudley’s Day at Home is a funny, fetching picture book that uses minimal text and maximal visual storytelling to share a day in a dog’s life.



From The Corner on Character, Barbara Gruener
Themes: imagination, creativity, personification
When Sam asks and Mom answers, a fun picture of what Sam imagines their darling dog does when they’re away from home unfolds. And from his innocent question and mom’s generic answer come these brilliantly-joyful illustrations that completely capture Sam’s incredible imagination that has Dudley doing all sorts of entertaining and crazy-fun people stuff while they are away. From blowing bubbles and playing checkers and video games with the cat to jumping on the bed or using the treadmill without permission, Sam conjures up all sorts of silly shenanigans.
Use this creative newcomer to teach personification, then let it serve as a springboard for a fanciful discussion about what your children think that our pets, the hamsters, the fish, the cats, maybe even the larger animals like the horses,  the llamas or the cattle, do all day. Invite them to act it out in a charades-like game. 
Encourage them come up with some kind of a social contract (aka house and/or barnyard rules) to keep the animal antics in check. Using their wild imaginations, like Sam does, what might the animals agree to? What might they balk at? How can they keep them all safe?  
I’m also drawn to the serendipitous timing of this book, the perfect story especially since now that we are under stay-at-home orders, kids like Sam don’t really have to wonder what their Dudleys do all day at all. Do I see a compare and contrast pictograph in there somewhere? 

From Edwards Book Club, Christa McGrath
Dudley’s Day at Home is a children’s picture book that follows the story of a young boy and his mom who go out for the day while Dudley, the dog, stays home.  The curious boy asks his mom all kinds of questions relating to Dudley as he wonders what his dog is doing while he is home alone. His mom responds that Dudley has all kinds of things to keep him busy–like eating, playing, and napping. Then the young boy asks if Dudley wonders what they are doing and a series of funny illustrations follow that show what a dog may envision his owners doing (like howling at the moon or digging up bones!). Kids will love this part of the story.
This book is a wonderful and visually appealing story for young children between 3 and 7 years of age. It is small on words and big on pictures. It is colourful, creative, and full of adventure; with a really sweet ending that highlights the relationship between a child and a dog.

From Jean Little Library, Jennifer Wharton
Small publisher Flashlight Press always has something goofy to delight readers and this classic “what happens when we’re not at home” scenario gets my full approval.
Sam and his mom, both with tan skin and dark, curly hair, are leaving the house and Sam wonders what Dudley, their white terrier-mix dog does all day when they’re not at home? As Sam and his mom go grocery shopping, she lists the things that Dudley does at home – eats, guards the house, and “does his business” out in the yard. But Sam’s got a whole different picture of these activities, and it spreads across the page in hilarious detail, from Dudley in business suit with a crowded desk in the yard to elaborate games with the cat.
On their way home, Sam continues to wonder, “Mom, do you think Dudley wonders what WE do all day?” and the scenes shift to Dudley, settled at the table with newspaper and coffee, imagining Sam and his mom chasing squirrels, stretching on the carpet, and howling at the moon. In a sweet and goofy scene, Sam and Dudley are reunited and while his mom looks a little surprised at the leftovers from Dudley’s day, like board games on the carpet – boy and dog are happy to be back together again.
Bright, cheerful cartoons contrast Sam and Dudley’s days, in reality and imagination, and offer plenty of scope for extension activities. This makes a delightful storytime read, but teachers and parents will also find it a great choice for a writing or drawing prompt.
Verdict: A light and fun story, perfect for library and classroom use. Recommended for all library collections.



About the Creators

Karen Kaufman Orloff is the author of award-winning books for children, including the “I Wanna” series (I Wanna Iguana, I Wanna New Room, I Wanna Go Home). Karen lives in New York’s Hudson Valley with her husband and family. Dudley’s Day At Home is her 12th picture book.
A graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, Renee Andriani creates a range of illustration work for greeting cards and children’s books. She loves doing school visits and presentations, working with all grade levels, to share what illustrators do and how books are created. She lives in the Kansas City area.

ISBN: HC 9781947277267/ ePDF 9781947277274 / EPUB 9781947277281 / KF8 9781947277298
Print Length: 32 Full Color Pages
Publication Date: May 2020 
Age Group: 4-8
Library of Congress Control Number: 2019955938