Beach Lane Books, 2011
What People Are Saying
From Our Follett Early Learning Experts
The narrator describes discovering how Ralph the dog can talk, appropriately saying words such as "roof," "rough," "bark," and "wolf."
From the Publisher
Would you believe that Ralph the dog can talk? Yip, yip, yip--it's true!
With bestselling author Lois Ehlert's simple, funny, call-and-response text and bold, playful collage illustrations, this fresh, young book is sure to get little ones laughing (and talking to their dogs!)
Booklist starred (February 15, 2011 (Vol. 107, No. 12))
Preschool-Grade 3. Ralph is a talking dog. And the text of this clever book consists of questions posed to Ralph, the canine answers, and comments from an unseen narrator talking to introduces this amazing pet. Asked “What’s your name?” the dog answers, “RRRALPH/RALPH.” Asked “Where are you?” Ralph responds, “ROOF/ROOF.” Once kids get the joke, they’ll enjoy guessing the dog’s replies to queries such as “What’s on that tree?” and “How’s the path feel on your paws, Ralph?” Created with realia as well as painted and textured papers, the three-dimensional collage illustrations feature zippers for Ralph’s mouth, a metal pop-top for his nose, buttons for the birds’ eyes, and actual bark for the tree’s trunk. The pages, colored in hot-pink, grass-green, and pumpkin, magnify the visual energy of the artwork and graphics. Each animal or object pictured shows up distinctly against a bright background, and Ralph’s words, along with the short lines of text, appear in large, bold type. With its appealing jacket art, clever text, and vibrant illustrations, this amusing picture book is a pleasure to read aloud, either individually or in story hour settings.
Horn Book (May/June, 2011)
Lots of books engage the very young with what animals "say." Ever-innovative Ehlert attributes several different words to the family dog, beginning with his own name. RALPH can say where he is (on his doghouse "ROOF"), and that the ground feels "ROUGH." If a "WOLF" scares him he'll agree to come inside: "YEP!" Whether Ralph actually means what he says or not, it's giggle-worthy; and doubling the fun are Ehlert's brilliantly composed collages, where a woodpecker of corrugated board, a red disc, and a screw (its beak) pecks at real "BARK." Ralph has zipper teeth, button eyes, a flip-top nose, and engagingly floppy ears that, like his legs, are neatly snipped from textured paper with pinking shears and arrayed on pages of dazzling contrasting colors. Ralph himself is so expressive that, though his repeated figure dominates the art, he offers something new each time. Meanwhile, his "words" and his owner's narrative, in enormous fonts, are intrinsic to the virtuoso graphic design that is Ehlert's hallmark. Can dogs really talk? "You decide," she suggests, nudging her audience toward independent thought -- a nice bit of added value to a crowd-pleaser of a book. joanna rudge long
Horn Book starred (Fall 2011)
Family dog RALPH can say several different words, including where he is (on his doghouse "ROOF") and that the ground feels "ROUGH." It's a giggle-worthy premise; and doubling the fun are Ehlert's brilliantly composed collages. Ralph, with zipper teeth, button eyes, and a flip-top nose, is so expressive that, though his repeated figure dominates the art, he offers something new each time.
Kirkus Reviews starred (April 1, 2011)
What would it be like to have a talking dog?Well, believe it or not, Ralph, the button-eyed, white-and-black puppy, actually can talk. When he arrives at his new home, the narrator asks, "What's your name?" Ralph responds with an energetic "RRRALPH RALPH." Readers might not get the joke at first, but when Ralph disappears, the unseen narrator asks, "Hey, Ralph! Where are you?" This brings the response, "ROOF ROOF." Though the trick quickly reveals itself, the questions to canine continue, allowing the young readers and listeners a chance to riddle through the answers. The query, "Ralph, what's on that tree," allows children to think, "Leaves? A bird? Branches? Bark? BARK!" Yes, bark. Ehlert's collages invite close inspection. Ralph is made of textured paper for his body, buttons for eyes, a soda-can-tab nose and a zipper for teeth. The oversized font on super-saturated shiny paper makes this an especially good book for shared reading. Even from the back of the room, children will be able to read along. The color-coded font allows for easy readers theater, too. Bold and bright, filled with kid-pleasing riddles and collage illustrations, this is a perfect offering for new readers and storytime. Will these young readers want to create a sequel? Yip! Yip!(Picture book. 4-8)
Publishers Weekly (March 21, 2011)
Ehlert (Lots of Spots) goes for the punny bone in this picture book inspired by family jokes about dogs and the sounds they make. The titular pup is plenty talkative, and in text that reads much like a comedy routine, he delivers his punch lines right on cue. The book's design sets up the narrator's question to the dog on one spread and follows with his answer on the next, additionally providing readers with a silly guessing game. At the outset, the narrator insists his dog can talk. "I found out when we first brought him home and I asked: What's your name?" The answer? "rrralph ralph." Later, Ralph explains "what's on that tree" ("bark bark bark") and how the ground feels under his paws ("rough rough"). Ehlert's always crisp collages feature textured paper torn or cut (pinking shear edges suggest Ralph's fur and a wolf's teeth), along with found objects (screws, tree bark, bottle caps) against a rainbow of solid-colored background pages. Ralph's zipper teeth and soda-can pull-tab nose give him a playful, slightly rakish look that's not soon forgotten. Ages 2-6. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
School Library Journal (May 1, 2011)
PreS-Gr 2-What do you do with "groaners," really bad jokes, in this case about dogs? Ehlert has gathered a few and turned them into a colorful, clever picture book. The pup in this story has been talking ever since he was first brought home. When asked his name, he replies "RRRalph, Ralph." When he is taken for a walk, he announces that the path is "Rough, Rough." And, does he want to come in the house at night? "Yep, Yep, Yep!" The illustrations are done in Ehlert's signature collage style. She has used recycled materials including buttons for eyes and a soda can pop-top for Ralph's nose. Other materials include zippers, tree bark, fabric, corrugated paper, and more. The art is laid out on bright backgrounds of red, orange, blue, and green. An excellent selection for sharing one-on-one or reading aloud in a group setting.-Roxanne Burg, Orange County Public Library, CA (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
- Publisher: Beach Lane Books
- Pub. Date: May 3, 2011
Format: Hardcover 32 p. : col. ill. ; 32 cm.
- Age Range: Early PreK - Grade 1 (2-6 yrs.)
- Reading Level: 1.4 (What’s this?)
- ISBN-10: 1-44241-305-0
- ISBN-13: 978-1-44241-305-4
- Follett Number: 0281JLX
- Language: English
- Lexile: AD310L (What’s this?)