Copyright ©1996 by Thacher Hurd
Arthur Dog is employed as a guard at the Dogopolis Museum of Art. The museum houses the works of such painters as, “Vincent Van Dog, Pablo Poodle, Henri Muttisse and Leonardo Dog Vinci.”
Arthur is mild-mannered and lives a quiet life, except when the moon is full. During those nights, Arthur’s appearance and personality change. Donning a mask and a beret and carrying a box containing paints and brushes, he creeps throughout the city as a graffiti artist. With a splat of his tail, Arthur signs his murals, “Art Dog.”
One day, a robbery occurs at the Dogopolis Museum. The Mona Woofa, a priceless painting, is stolen. When the police arrive, they conduct a search of the outside perimeter. It is a full moon, and Art Dog is found in the alley with his eyes glowing and fur glistening, paintbrush in paw. Unsurprisingly, he is suspected of committing the robbery and is arrested.
Now free, Art Dog needs transportation. He paints a “Brushmobile” which runs on paint instead of gas.
Using his keen canine sense of smell, he searches for and locates the real culprits at an abandoned warehouse. A scuffle occurs, but instead of using a weapon, Art Dog brandishes his paintbrush. “Paint! En garde! Touche!” When the fighting ceases, the criminals are shown embedded in a piece of art.
Art Dog is such a wonderfully playful story. As an added bonus, it provides a great opportunity to introduce your kids to several famous artists. I found the true paintings on the internet and we enjoyed comparing them to the Dogopolis Museum’s versions. As Chicago residents, we have access to the world-renowned Art Institute, and we always read Art Dog before we visit. Of course, it is also requested many times in between.