The story is great for reading aloud, but the many humorous details in the cartoon-style illustrations make it fun for individual reading as well. Text, illustration, and design all work together to create a delightful story.
-- School Library Journal
A zigzag cutout in the last page offers a glimpse of Toby, who has escaped right out of the story and onto the endpapers, in a hilarious finale. The short text, repetitive story structure and Jones’s simple but amusing cartoon-style illustrations add up to a solid offering in the naughty-dog division, but the boundary-breaking ending is the tail that wags the dog for this canine caper.
Toby, an enthusiastic, goofy, and lovable mutt that belongs to an African American couple and their daughter, Emma, has a schedule for getting into trouble....Whimsical cartoon illustrations make Toby’s troublesome and dangerous behavior seem humorous and lighthearted....Children will delight in Toby’s antics, especially when he disappears through a die-cut hole on the last page. They will also appreciate Emma’s role in helping him become the almost perfect dog.
Whatever character Corinne Demas creates is surely one you will fall instantly in love with….Young readers will easily learn the days of the week through the repetition as they read aboutToby’s mishaps each day. They will love the book and want it read to them, or read it themselves, over and over and the recurrence of the days along with the engaging illustrations by Noah Z. Jones will have everyone enchanted by this disobedient dog!
My family has taken this book out of the library twice as it is just too funny... Deliciously cute (just look at these illustrations!), this picture book is bound to make anyone with a pup giggle.
Anyone who has ever been through puppy training will love this story and the surprising turn of events. This story is great for reading aloud and has bright, colorful pictures. It will help kids and parents alike remember that everyone has “tough” days once in a while, but are still very much loved.
When I was a kid growing up in New York City I desperately wanted to have a dog, but they weren’t allowed in the Stuyvesant Town apartment, where I lived. I had a large collection of stuffed dogs, though, and my favorite was one called an “autograph hound.” He was covered in a canvas fabric and came with a pen. All the kids in my class signed their names on him. His name was Toby, and he was so well-loved he got worn out. I sewed patches on him wherever his stuffing started to become unstuffed. By the time I grew up he was almost entirely covered by patches. I have him today, and he resides in a shoebox in my closet, occasionally coming out to have his picture taken.
Toby, in Always in Trouble, is named for my stuffed dog, but he acts a lot like the real dogs I have had in my life. (Although none of the dogs I have lived with have ever volunteered to vacuum.) Our vet’s real name is Dr. Katz, and we do have our dog’s certificate from dog training school hung on the wall, just at his proper height. He hasn’t eaten it. Yet.
Emily, a fan from Germany
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Noah Z. Jones is an author/illustrator/ animator who has illustrated numerous books fo children including Not Norman and Those Shoes. Noah and his wife Diane adopted their dog, Otto, from a local animal shelter. Otto likes to bark, chase cars, and chew up important pieces of paperwork.
Noah is currently living in sunny Los Angeles working on his very own cartoon series, Fish Hooks, for the Disney Channel. Visit noahzjones.com