Why Do I Have to Eat Off the Floor? by Chris Hornsey

Why can’t I drive the car?
Why can’t I dig in the garden?
Why can’t I sleep in your bed?

The questions posed in this quirky offering may sound like those every parent hears from their youngsters, but the twist is that they are actually a dog’s questions to its young owner. Murphy is a little dog with some big ambitions – digging with a back hoe, riding on an elephant, swinging a hula hoop – which are illustrated on the left hand page of each spread. The right hand page presents a more accurate picture of what is happening – when Murphy imagines himself excavating with a back hoe, he is really digging a hole in the flower bed, for example.

The question and answer format presents Murphy’s questions, which are asked with a beseeching look, rather than dialogue, coupled with patient (though frustrated) answers of the young owner.

The silliness of this book will appeal to preschoolers and the familiarity of the multitude of ‘whys’ will appeal to parents. The simple illustrations, watercolour with ink outlines, are an excellent complement.

Why Do I Have To Eat Off the Floor? by Chris Hornsey and Gwyn Perkins
Little Hare, 2005