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Flawed Dogs: The Year-End Leftovers at The Piddleton    by Berkeley Breathed order for
Flawed Dogs
by Berkeley Breathed
Order:  USA  Can
Little, Brown & Co., 2003 (2003)
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

The author's website tells us that the book 'was inspired by the staggering pet overpopulation problem, highlighting it with a bit of humor'. This '2004 Catalogue of the Piddleton Dog Pound's Very Available Leftovers' is a book for doglovers with a twisted sense of humor. Though the barks of the canines inside the covers are assuredly worse than their bites, the illustrations bite like pitbulls.

Berkeley Breathed shows us dogs desperate for adoption with 'some minor blemishes' that are explained in verses whose awfulness often equals that of these poor, imperfect pooches. Though some of the pictures made me smile, others got an instant (and no doubt intended) Yecch!, in particular Noodles and Willy Wonker. Some of the better verses could (almost) have been written by Ogden Nash - 'If Tina were a rhinoceros / She wouldn't seem so preposterous, / But then she ain't. / Hence, the complaint.' And the earthy humor of Pete and iBoo has appeal for all ages.

Flawed Dogs is an unusual book, whose humor I didn't always appreciate, but whose closing verse I liked very much ... 'So in this world / Of the simple and odd ... Some live without love ... / That's how they're flawed.'

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