Publishers Weekly Review
It could be said that Pilkey (Kat Kong; the Dragon books) never let a good story go unPUNished. From its open-mouthed mutt to its put-upon family to its climactic burglary scene, this latest entry might have been modeled on Susan Meddaugh's Martha Speaks. But Pilkey's silly tales forage unabashedly for lowbrow laughs, and his aim is usually accurate, even if adults more than kids will catch these halitosis jokes. Here, ``a dog named Hally, who lived with the Tosis family,'' emits green puffs of breath so toxic they knock Grandma Tosis out of her chair. When the Tosis parents put their putrid pet up for adoption, the Tosis kids try to save Hally: they bring her to a site with a ``breathtaking view''; to a movie (starring ``Perry O'Donnel and Giner Vitus'') said to leave audiences ``breathless''; and to a roller coaster so fast it makes riders lose their breath-to no avail. Yet a glimpse of a headline on a newspaper (called The Daily Foreshadow) and a wanted poster showing two robbers presage a happy ending: the villains visit the Tosis home and suffer the odiferous consequences. Pilkey's punchy art, characterized by heavy black outlines and bold colors, matches the clowning quality of the text (the copyright page, tellingly, lists Pilkey's preferred media as ``acrylics, watercolors, pencils, magic markers, and Dijon mustard''). Guaranteed to ward off smellancholy. Ages 4-8. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Library Journal Review
PreS-Gr 2‘Corny jokes, plays on words, and garishly colored illustrations are Pilkey's stock-in-trade. This outrageous book continues the tradition. Hally is a fine, loving dog with horrible breath. Even skunks avoid her. When Mr. and Mrs. Tosis decide to give her away, their children try to cure the problem, but nothing works. Her days as the family pet are numbered‘until she licks the faces of two burglars. They pass out cold on the living-room floor, and Hally becomes a heroine. With clothespins on their noses, the family concludes that ``...life without Hally Tosis wouldn't make any scents.'' Two levels of humor coexist in this book, neither of them subtle. Children will laugh at pictures of people reeling from Hally's breath, while adults will groan over some of the more sophisticated puns. The simplified cartoon drawings in comic-book colors will attract many browsers. While this is a one-joke story, many children should find it funny.‘Nancy Seiner, The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Booklist Review
Ages 4-7. Wordplay at a basic level is at the heart of this sweet, funny picture book, much as it was in Dogzilla [BKL S 1 93]. Here, however, the plot is totally original, and the canine featured is Pilkey's artistic creation, not his real-life dog. Good-natured Hally, who belongs to the Tosis family, has bad breath. Fearing the loss of their loving pet, the Tosis children search for a cure, but not even a "breathtaking" mountain view seems to help. When Hally knocks two burglars cold with slurpy, smelly kisses, the Tosises decide to opt for clothespins on their noses "because life without Hally Tosis just wouldn't make any scents." Clouds of green breath wafting through the pictures create a scenario that's sure to appeal to a child's goofier side--especially if there's a pooch in the family. And the bright colors Pilkey uses add a marvelous effervescence to the zany goings-on. ~--Stephanie Zvirin