Charming illustrations highlight a child’s day at school — with a surprise canine visitor — in this twist on a nursery rhyme about the hours of the day. 

Hickory, dickory, dare, Dogs aren’t allowed in there. A sneaky peek through . . . Then a hullabaloo! Hickory, dickory, dare.

Zack and his dog, Rufus, are best friends. So when Zack goes to school, Rufus follows along. And once he’s there, Rufus joins right in with painting, lunchtime, and even garden time — which makes for one messy pup when it’s time to go home! Engaging illustrations capture the people and playthings of a child’s day, with an array of analog clocks sprinkled throughout for good measure.

Set to the tune of “Hickory Dickory Dock,” Murray’s original text perfectly fits the traditional nursery song. … The language is pure fun in places (“Hickory dickory dee, /Haroo!/Hurrah!/Yippee!”) and always child-friendly. The digitally rendered artwork is colorful and appealing. … The book begs to be read aloud or, even more appropriately, sung aloud. The generous size of the book, the clarity and appeal of the illustrations, and the fluidity of the text make it a good choice for storytime.

school library journal

Murray… riffs on a traditional nursery rhyme, keeping its cadences while focusing on a day in the life of Zack and his faithful dog, Rufus. … Murray’s digital art employs a palette ranging from flat, retro pastels to bright primary colours.

kirkus review

Murray’s digital pictures have the cheery colors, simple shapes, and straightforward exuberance of 1950s illustration. Rufus, fashioned out of an almost continuous scraggly brown line and filled in with mustardy yellow, is the very picture of canine devotion. Analog clocks pop up throughout the spreads, offering visual cues (and subtle nudges) to those on the threshold of knowing how to tell time.

publishers weekly

There is a hullaballo in Alison Murray’s “Hickory Dickory Dog,” but it is entirely of the jolly, frisking, canine sort. In sprightly verse that takes liberties with the old Mother Goose rhyme, this picture book recounts a messy day in the life of little Rufus and his young master, Zack. … Colorful, charmingly guileless illustrations of the child and his disheveled friend give a feeling of easy happiness to this story for 3- to 7-year-olds.

wall street journal

Shaggy, golden Rufus is a charmer, whether helpfully retrieving a dripping bottle of paint or gleefully riding in a bike-pulled cart, ears tossed back by the motion.

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