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Murphy Meets The Treadmill

Murphy is a simple dog with simple pleasures. He’s happy just to lie on the porch and watch the people go by, especially if they have treats for him to eat! All those treats add up, though, and even Murphy has to admit that maybe he’s not such a fine example of his breed after all. But what’s a dog to do? Cheryl says he has to diet, and that’s just the beginning. One day a delivery van arrives with a strange machine. Murphy puts up quite a fight, but Cheryl is determined to get him trim and fit. Soon, the neighbors can’t stop talking about Murphy’s new activity. Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks! Readers will delight in the familiar battle of wills between pet and owner, hilariously portrayed through Harriet Ziefert’s witty text and Emily Bolam’s warm, expressive illustrations.

Hardcover: 32 pages

Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers (September 1, 2001)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0618113576

ISBN-13: 978-0618113576

Product Dimensions: 11.4 x 8.9 x 0.4 inches

Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces

Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

Best Sellers Rank: #1,491,046 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #50 in Books > Children's Books > Growing Up & Facts of Life > Health > Weight #2392 in Books > Children's Books > Animals > Pets #5017 in Books > Children's Books > Animals > Dogs

Age Range: 4 - 7 years

Grade Level: Preschool - 3

I just had to respond to the reader who panned this book: do you own a dog? This is a VERY funny book! And well done. Murphy, like many dogs and their humans had gotten into the habit of too many calories and too little exercise. To view the storyline as a case of "society's...reverence of appearance above all else" and to equate Cheryl's conduct with "humilia[ion] by forced exercise or dieting" is a major case of the reader projecting HER issues on Murphy! He's a dog: he lives to eat, sleep AND please his alpha dog, Cheryl. And Cheryl, like any good alpha dog (or parent, for that matter) is using positive discipline and proactive behavior to mold her protege into the best--and healthiest--dog he can be.My kids love this book! And they don't see the negative messages that the CA reader does; they see a funny story about an owner's creative way to help her dog get healthier.

I am the mother of a 2 year old and 4 year old. We have a yellow lab, and can relate to this book completely! This is a great bed time story, and it reminds my kids that exercising is important!!! I wish that our dog could learn to use our treadmill, but until then, we'll stick to the family walks. This is a light-hearted book with adorable pictures. If you are a dog lover, you'll enjoy this book!

Murphy is a fat yellow lab whose human, Cheryl, purchases a treadmill and forces Murphy to use it. He does, loses weight, attracts a female dog, and becomes famous. While Ziefert's intentions may be good, i.e. to encourage children to exercise and eat right, the less-than-subtle messages conveyed here are disturbing, to say the least. Is it alright to force someone to exercise, or to threaten them with punishment if they don't? Do we want to perpetuate this society's fascination with and reverence of appearance above all else? How many of us were humiliated by forced exercise or dieting as children, and how do we feel about it now? Did it improve our relationship to food or exercise? Were the results ultimately beneficial? Though this reaction may seem strong, picture books are read and absorbed by impressionable young children, many of whom are already overly body conscious. We don't need to encourage this kind of coercion.

Exercise increasing longevity in a dog. This is NOT a diet book for dogs. It's fun for my dog and she loves going on the treadmill. It gives her an extra walk in the day - and she already gets 4 outside (I live in Manhattan and have to walk a JRT). If she didn't like it, I would have just sold it on ebay.This book is very funny and Cheryl is clearly making exercise fun. Sooo.... relax about this being some kind of deranged diet book or that everyone is sooo concerned with appearance. It's about my dogs health and her having fun!

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