It’s a dog’s life and Bailey’s Day by Robert Haggerty exposits that that's not necessarily a bad thing. In big, vibrant pictures, illustrator Bobbi Switzer presents a canine view of “A Day in the Life.” And what a day it is.
Bailey is a large, brown and white dog who tackles life with gusto. Her dad is a mailman, and when he goes off to work, Bailey begins her day. She lives in Arizona, so she gets to play with lizards, and — lucky for the lizards — they’re faster than she. Bailey enjoys napping on her dad’s shirts after eating a satisfying breakfast of dog food and a treat.
Clearly, Bailey is the kind of dog we all want. Young children will enjoy Bailey’s Day for its simple story of canine rebellion and its full page illustrations of a happy dog at play. There really is a “Bailey” and following her story is an album of family photographs — Bailey at home doing the things she likes, including playing pool and browsing in the refrigerator, and Bailey with her dad in the mail truck.
In Bailey’s Day, she has a pet door so she can let herself out. Her yard has a nice high wall around it, but that doesn’t stop her from jumping the wall and visiting Frankie the dachshund next door. The two dogs spend their day visiting children in the park, swimming, eating with the taco man, and engaging in other dog-satisfying activities, one of which is hiding from mail trucks (this is where Bailey differs from a certain dog I know who is intent on eating the mail truck with the mailman in it. Are you reading this, Charity Marie Doggy-Dog?).
Bailey’s dad doesn’t know she is out and about every day, but this day he finds Bailey and Frankie and gives them a ride home. Frankie and Bailey share a wink when the mailman says, “I hope you two dogs don’t get out every day.”
Upon arriving home, Bailey heads straight to bed, knowing she’s done something wrong (or at least knowing she’s been caught doing something wrong). Dad tells Bailey not to do it again and goes about his business. The story ends with Bailey planning her next day out — tomorrow.
Bailey’s Day is recommended for young readers. The text is simple, yet vocabulary-building. One of the things I especially appreciated is the font Haggerty chose for his text. If you’ve ever rejected a children’s book because the font was too fancy for a young reader, with letters that could easily be confused, you will welcome the bold, block letters used in Bailey’s Day. Additionally, it offers a number of opportunities for discussion of both the dog’s behavior and right and wrong, or bad and good. Readers will find that Bailey is a good dog with a taste for adventure.
Bottom Line: Would I buy Bailey’s Day? Yes, it’s an entertaining book for young children and beginning readers. Dog lovers will also find it amusing.