Dog Breath: The Horrible Trouble with Hally Tosis

Dog Breath by Dav Pilkey
Dog Breath by Dav Pilkey

today’s children storybook summary is

Dog Breath: The Horrible Trouble with Hally Tosis

By Dav Pilkey

Theme: This is a story of redemption, acceptance, and finding the bright side in a difficult situation

Plot: The Tosis family wants to get rid of their dog, Hally, because it has bad breath.

Talking points: Acceptance. Are we judging others based on who we are? Are we accepting others as who they are?


This story is about a dog named Hally that lives with the Tosis family. Unfortunately, the dog has a big problem: bad breath. So everywhere Hally went, people walked away holding their noses.

One day grandma Tosis stopped by, and Hally, being friendly, jumped up to say hello. And it was so horrible a smell that the Tosis family decided to get rid of the dog.

But the kids wanted to keep Hally, so they decided to get rid of the dog’s breath instead. So they took Hally to a breathtaking view in a park, then to a movie that promised to leave the viewer breathless, and finally to a rollercoaster that swore that would take your breath away. But nothing worked.

That night, with a “free dog” sign on their yard, the kids went to sleep hoping for a miracle. Little did they know what was going to happen. Overnight, two burglars broke into Tosis’s home. They saw Hally and called her to see if she was dangerous. Friendly, the dog came and gave them a big kiss. The smell knocked the burglars unconscious until morning when the Tosis family called the police.

And so, Hally became famous, and the Tosis family got a reward and kept the dog. So, bad breath may be an inconvenience but also a weapon against foes.


Dav Pilkey is the writer and illustrated of this book. His detailed and bold depictions are easily recognizable with bright, solid colors and cartoon-like characters (he is the author of the famous “DogMan” series for young adults). The illustration dramatically enhances the book’s text which cannot be entirely understood unless you see the pictures.

Recommended Age: 5 to 8

Reading Time: 4 minutes

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