June 22, 2022


Hot Dog by Doug Salati reminds readers how important it is to take a step back every once in a while and recenter in order to service your own mental health.

A city-dwelling dog and their human set out on a steamy summer day to run errands. The trip is one long, hot experience after another for the dog: the sidewalk burns their toes, the cars and crowds are noisy, and everything smells terrible. Finally, after almost being hit by a skateboard in a crosswalk, the dog stops walking entirely, refusing to partake in any more of the day. But luckily its human knows exactly what the dog needs: a getaway to the beach, to refresh and clear their mind.

The illustrations were created using a mixture of pencil and gouache with Photoshop, and Salati takes full advantage of the color wheel, with reds, oranges, and yellows in the hot city, and blues in the cooler ocean scenes. The bright blue sky and ocean are a perfect complementary backdrop for the orange dog (and his redheaded human), and Salati moves from line-framed panels to completely unframed moments as everyone gets a chance to let loose and feel free.

Hot Dog published last month from Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers!

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