Customer Review

Reviewed in Canada on May 17, 2004
I dunno. For as long as Spot has existed, children have loved him. And honestly? I really couldn't tell you why. I've nothing against Spot, really. I've nothing for him either, and herein lies the problem. Spot is a bland "Ziggy"-like creation. The books that present him are neither particularly interesting, witty, or sublime to the average adult reader. Critics would argue that this is precisely the point and that children don't need the same kinds of books as adults. I remain unconvinced and point out that when there are such marvelous and simple children's books as "Olivia" or "Rosie's Walk" or "Gossie and Gertie" for kids today, why turn around and pick up the fine but dull "Where's Spot?"? One has to wonder.

In this book, Sally (perhaps the parent of the elusive puppy) is searching for the book's title character. As she runs around the house the viewer is able to open doors, lift bed curtains, and pry into the cabinets that Sally spies as well. Behind each, a different animal (or animals) stands there saying, "No" when asked if Spot is hiding there. I'll hand this to the creator. The 1994 edition I was handling held up very very well over the years. This book has been constructed with tough pages that little one's hands are adept at opening without the rippage usually so common. The animals are cute and the parents can maybe name them with their kids as they go. Just the same, don't be surprised if the crocodile under the bed gives a couple squeamish children the creeps for a while.

In It's not bad, it's not good, it's not much of anything. It doesn't teach and if it entertains then that's fine. If you've a tender place in your heart for the other books in the Spot series, go wild. This book will certainly live up to expectations. If, however, your expectations are built on such solid kid-friendly yet really amusing stand-bys as "Sesame Street" or other witty genres, prepare to be disappointed. While a fine story, it leaves much to be desired.
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