The Bottom Line: You just never knew when Ivan the terrier is going to burst onto the scene and - Arf! Arf! Arf!
I'm actually surprised I haven't reviewed Ivan the Terrier yet. Why? Because it's so doggone cute! This is yet another children's picture book I ended up reading while at work a while back. But I still remember it because it was so funny.
It's a very simple book, but it's just oh-so-fun to read. The premise is simple; the narrator is attempting to tell the reader a story. You know, the average every day fairy tale. Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Three Billy Goats Gruff. Except the narrator doesn't ever manage to get far. Why?
Arf! Arf! Arf! Arf! Arf! Arf!
Er, that's why. Ivan. You see, he's a little terrier dog who likes to -
Arf! Arf! Arf! Arf! Arf!
Ivan - no! Quiet! Go lay down. Be a good dog. Anyway, Ivan likes to show up when the narrator is telling the story. And he tends to bark. A lot. And he jumps. Er, and he likes to chase the things in the story. He scared off the billy goats.
Arf! Arf! Arf!
...And the three bears. He sort of gets into everything in the story. Because of wild little Ivan, the narrator is always getting interrupted and is busy trying to get Ivan under control because he's just so excited. I mean, what dog wouldn't be with goats and bears and -
Arf! Arf! Arf! Arf! Arf! Arf! Arf! Arf! Arf!
No, no! Ivan! No! DON'T EAT -
- the gingerbread man. Ugh.
Anyway, I'm sure you get the idea. Even if Ivan does eventually get his own part in the story, he might be too tired by then to carry it out. But that's okay. Kids will have a blast watching him jump around barking his little head off with plenty of cute "Arf! Arf!" words floating around him. And the illustrations are bright and fun as well. Even the bears are surprised when Ivan shows up. His little doggy expressions are captured perfectly, including the happy face he gets when barking like most excited dogs get, or the "What?" confused look when the narrator demands he drop the gingerbread man.
Even if Ivan isn't exactly the sort of dog Cesar Millan would approve of, he's enough to make kids laugh, older people laugh (hey, I did, I thought this book was adorable), and is a sure fire way to bring a smile to anyone's face.
Arf! Arf! Arf!
Yes, Ivan, we're talking about you. Here's a treat. Now let's go play outside.