Author Laura Numeroff is the most well-known for creating the “If You Give A…” series of stories that are beloved by children around the world. But she wrote more selections than just that series, and one of those is all about a dog and how he doesn’t want to follow in the family legacy. Unlike with her other picture books, Numeroff partners up this time with writer Nate Evans, and illustrator Tim Bowers, to create a story that has a bit of a morality tale to it.
Sherman Crunchley is a beagle and a police officer, but he knows that he’s not suited for law enforcement. His father, however, is going to be retiring, and it is going to be his job to take over for his father as the chief of police. The only problem is that he doesn’t want to be the chief of police! He has a hard time, however, telling his father that. Throughout the story he demonstrates that he has a love of hats, and that no matter what he does, he has a very hard time saying no to anybody. He even goes to a hypnotist in order to help him to say no to his father, but his hypnosis doesn’t work out as planned and he winds up leaving the office saying all sorts of strange things.
Instead of telling his father about his dilemma, Sherm decides to show him what he wants by purchasing a number of different hats and by putting a letter on each hat that the guests at his father’s retirement party are going to wear. When they stand correctly, it spells out his problem. The title character then discovers that his father had a little secret of his own!
Sherman Crunchley is a story that is great for children who have a difficult time asserting themselves, as it helps them to learn that it is okay to be someone who has a hard time saying no, and that sometimes you need to just find another way to get out what you’re trying to say. This is truly a charming tale by Numeroff and Evans.