Cover image for Swollobog
Taylor, Alastair.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Boston : Houghton Mifflin Co., 2001.
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 22 cm
On an outing to the fair, a perpetually hungry little dog swallows a helium balloon and leads his owners on a wild chase.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 4.3 0.5 48112.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Childrens Area-Picture Books

On Order



Swollobog will eat anything: toast, carrots, lemons, cheese (especially cheese), snails, handles, toothpaste, and even mud. She is not particular, and she'll go to extreme lengths for even the smallest morsel. She is so ravenous that when she eats, she often forgets to chew and breathe and occasionally consumes the dish. You might think that's as greedy as a small dog can get. You'd be wrong. In fact, Swollobog's insatiable appetite eventually gets her in a terrible fix -- far from family and food.

Author Notes

Alastair Taylor and his wife live in a green house in England with two pretty niffy dogs, whom they attempt, for obvious reasons, to keep dry at all times. This is Alastair's second book for children.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Ages 6^-8. "Feed me; feed me" is pudgy Swollobog the dog's anthem, which is emphasized by a wickedly funny I'm-hungry-come-feed-me expression on her long, ugly snout. The truth is, however, that she hardly ever waits to be fed; she'll automatically down just about anything. Hot chili peppers turn her all sorts of interesting colors and shapes, but cheese is her favorite. When Swollowbog's family takes her to a fair held at the beach, old greedy guts swallows a helium balloon and takes off, with her family, rather tentatively, following in pursuit. The serious voice of the child narrator gives the totally goofy goings-on a rather sophisticated feel, as does the modern art in flat colors--orange, green, and turquoise. It's Swallowbog herself whom children will probably like best. They may find a bit of themselves in the canine's stubborn, selfish naughtiness, and they'll be comforted by the fact that Sollowbog's family still likes her in spite of it. Not a first purchase, but an interesting change of pace from most books about dogs. --Stephanie Zvirin.

Publisher's Weekly Review

Swollobog, a portly brown dachshund, owes her name to a child's backward "d" and a misspelling of "swallow." If the name is odd, the point is simple: "It's really all a matter of greediness." Swollobog eats anything, and her elastic body often recalls a boa constrictor's. In one portrait, she proudly stands with a circular disc spanning her midriff ("One day she ate so fast she swallowed it all in one gulpDbowl included"), and in a cartoon montage, she radically changes colors and shape-shifts after devouring a chili pepper. Swollobog's worst offense takes place at a fair, where she consumes a helium balloon. She literally floats away, just out of reach of a circus performer on stilts; her ingenious family retrieves her with the help of a kite, a needle-sharp piece of peanut brittle and psychic vibes ("She can smell the thought of cheese, you see"). Taylor, making his picture-book debut, depicts Swollobog with a cigar-shaped nose, a crafty grin and a body that will accommodate any foodstuff. He styles the narrative as a chatty monologue by Meg, a girl who loves but is embarrassed by her insatiable dog. The voluble prose often overwhelms the pictures, yet mimics a young voice effectively; within the gouache paintings, randomly jotted phrases add to the quirky wit (the remark "I can't think where I put that sack of potatoes" appears near a lumpy Swollobog). This breezy tall tale marks Taylor as a promising purveyor of hyperbole. Ages 4-8. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 2-A quirky story about a greedy little pup with an uncontrollable appetite. This canine garbage disposal will amuse and surprise readers with her unbelievable consumption of anything from her food and bowl to a sack of potatoes. Her troubles really begin when her family takes her to the fair, where she ingests some helium balloons and is carried out to sea. Readers will love finding out how young Meg and her family finally get their pet back. The side commentaries by the humans and the fact that they don't always make the best decisions bring the text to life. The illustrations, done in acrylics, feature characters that are almost claylike, and show a very lumpy pup with the outline of what she has eaten forming her body. This is great primary-grade humor, resulting in a book that won't stay on the shelf for long.-Sheryl L. Shipley, North Central Local Schools, Pioneer, OH (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.