The Great Gracie Chase: Stop that Dog! : Stop That Dog!

by Cynthia Rylant, Illustrated By Mark Teague

The Blue Sky Press
April 2001

Ages 5 – 7 . Grades Kindergarten – 2

Library of Congress: 00041463

Lexile measure: AD480L

DRA: 18

Guided Reading: K



Gracie is a dog who enjoys the quiet life. For her, there's nothing more pleasant than sitting indoors, resting peacefully. One day, however, Gracie's world is turned upside-down with the arrival of some noisy, bustling painters. Gracie barks at them, ordering them out of her house, but to her surprise, Gracie is put out instead.

When Gracie decides to take a walk outdoors-all by herself-it doesn't take long for someone to notice she's missing. Soon, the painters, the neighbors, the garbage man and the paperboy are running after her, and Gracie can't figure out why . . . so she keeps on running! Soon the whole town joins in the chase, but Gracie outruns them all and returns home-all by herself.
Cynthia Rylant

Cynthia Rylant has written more than 100 books, including Dog Heaven, Cat Heaven, and the Newbery Medal-winning novel Missing May. She lives with her pets in Oregon.
Mark Teague

Mark Teague is the internationally bestselling illustrator (and author) of more than 50 books for children. His numerous awards and honors include the Book Sense Book of the Year Award and the Christopher Medal. He has illustrated 12 full-size books and 11 board books in the widely successful How Do Dinosaurs...? series. He is the author of the popular Dear Mrs. LaRue, Firehouse!, and Jack and the Beanstalk and the French Fries. He lives in New York State.


  • Gracie Rose is a very good dog. She's also a very quiet dog-until noisy house painters invade her home. She barks (very politely) to tell them to go away, but in a complete miscarriage of justice, she's put outside. She's so angry she decides to break the rules and take a walk by herself. When she's discovered missing, a madcap chase involving half the neighborhood begins, ending when Gracie walks back home-all by herself. The illustrations have a round, comfortable, slightly off-kilter feel, and Gracie's facial expressions are humorous and telling. Children will like the idea of presenting the story from the dog's point of view, and older ones, as well as adults, will appreciate the more absurd aspects of the tale: when the fish that lives at Gracie's house seems lonely, Gracie sings to it. -Marta Segal
    --Booklist, January 1, 2001

    Gracie Rose, a charming brown-and-white puppy, loves a quiet house. She loves the kitty sleeping quietly on the windowsill. She sings to the fish when it's lonely. She helps the bigger dog watch the house. For Gracie, the best home is a quiet one. But one day, the painters who come to paint her kitchen destroy the quiet. Not only are they noisy, but they put her out of the house when she barks at them. Gracie, who has always been a good dog runs through an open gate and takes off. The whole town runs after her, gathering much as do the folks in " The Gingerbread Boy." Only when everyone, including the painters, drops from exhaustion can Gracie retrn to her home and find peace and quiet. Unfortunately for Gracie Rose, the reader knows that the dreaded painters will come again. Rylant's story seems deceptively simple, but its prose is beautifully phrased, conversational in tone, and easy to read. Teague outdoes himself here, his oversized drawings are equal partners to Rylant's words. The create narrative, movement, and fun on every page, Gracie often seems ready to leap from the page, as she becomes bigger than life. The small town is an idealized place where a multiethnic community comes together good-humoredly to protect a fellow creature. Humans and animals express a variety of emotions, but Gracie's face and body language as the painter puts her outside take the cake. The strong storyline in text and illustration makes this a fine read-aloud. Gracie Rose deserves a series!
    Kirkus Reviews, Feb. 1, 2001--starred review

    Gracie is a "little round dog" who likes her restrained and familiar surroundings: "For Gracie, a quiet home was the best home." She's therefore considerably discomfited when painter arrive and set everything askew, with their "clangy ladders and big-person voices!" Their response is to put the noisy little dog outside, whereupon she starts to take a walk by herself; when she's spotted leaving, the pursuit begins, with eventually the whole town joining in The Great Gracie Chase. The text doesn't always make sense (why would Gracie still think of her outing as a walk whe she knows she's running away from people trying to catch her?), and it occasionally has a slightly precious air (especially with direct addresses to the reader such as "Do you know what?"), but th story of the baffled little dog's eluding of her pursuers remains enjoyable. Teague's compositions never quite give the group chase its frenetic due, but he creates a round and pettable world enhanced by unusual perspectives ranging from dog's eye to overhead (the latter revealing a blimp apparently following along with the chase). The art adds some entertaining intems to the pursuit (bicycle wheels flying off from the speed, concerned onlookers observing through windows), and Gracie herself is a solidly endearing armful of brown-and-white pup. If you've got kids ready for a little canine chaos, this might just go the distance.
    ---Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, March 2001

    This simple story is a delight



Jacketed Hardcover / Smyth

ISBN: 9780590100410

40pp. | 11 x 10