Chowder, written and illustrated by Peter Brown, is a delightful children’s book about a fat, spoiled bulldog. Chowder starts off the way any great children’s book should - the dog is sitting on the toilet. My boys (ages 7 and 3) loved it.After Chowder gets off of the toilet, we find out that he is really very lonely (although very spoiled by his people, the Wubbingtons) and all he wants is to have some friends of the animal kind. Chowder is not just any dog, he is a little too smart and odd for ordinary dogs to play with (the word ‘eccentric’ comes to mind). His doggy toys are a computer, head phones, and a telescope. Still, he yearns for the animal friends he has never had and uses his doggy smarts to hatch a plot to realize his dream.
His careful planning and manipulation of his people gets him a trip to the Food Ranch (think WalMart with entertainment). Chowder tries to be friends with the animals of the petting zoo at the Food Ranch. There is another bathroom scene which my sons loved, and this time Chowder washes his paws - which I thought was very impressive and teaches kids good bathroom habits. He then finds himself hanging from a tree, and in great distress he can’t even bark for help (he is holding on with his mouth). When the animals of the petting zoo come to his rescue, a true tale of friendship unfolds.
The story is told with humor not only in the text, but with illustrations that amaze and delight. We found that we looked carefully over the pictures to find out everything that Chowder or his owners were doing. Its charm lies in the illustrations and the text is merely there to explain only a little of this charismatic dog Chowder. Highly recommended, this children’s book won’t disappointment and will appeal to children and grown-ups of all ages.