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Literature / Two Dogs In A Trench Coat Go To School

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Two Dogs In a Trench Coat Go To School is the first in a series of children’s novels written by Julie Falatko and illustrated by Colin Jack. It follows the story of two dogs named Sassy and Waldo who are curious about what their boy, Stewart, does when he’s not at home. They hear he goes to this place called school, but think it’s a terrible place to be because of all the negative things he says about it. They decide to go to his school to try to save Stewart from an evil overload that they think is at the school but only to discover they don’t allow dogs. So the two dogs sneak into the school under disguise by stacking up and wearing an old trench coat they found in a closet in order to pass as a student named Salty. While there, they actually learn that school is a fun place to be and even become the most popular kid in school. They also help Stewart out with the problems he is facing in school and even get him to start enjoying school better.


This book contains examples of:

  • The Ace: Waldo and Sassy (well, largely Waldo) prove to be pros at many of the activities done at school.
  • An Aesop: Many different lessons are learned by all the characters throughout the book.
  • Animal Talk: Waldo and Sassy are able to talk fluently to Stewart, and when they’re in the disguise, Waldo is able to talk in a way to make all the other humans understand him.
  • Big Eater: Waldo and Sassy both love to eat a lot. They tend to take advantage of eating any food they find. .
  • Butt-Monkey: Sometimes, Bax tends to take advantage of the dogs’ stupidity.
  • Can't Get Away with Nuthin': Stewart is clueless on what to do for his big project and even loses his information sheet, which is mandatory for his project. Waldo and Sassy try to help, but not in a good way.
  • Comically Missing the Point: The dogs do this numerous times during the coarse of the book.
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  • Conspicuous Trench Coat: Waldo and Sassy wear a trench coat during the whole time they are in school. A couple times, some teachers asked them to take it off, which Waldo declined.
  • Covers Always Lie: The cover of the book shows Sassy holding a lunch pail while she and Waldo are in their disguise at the school. However, they never bring their own lunch to school. They just eat at the cafeteria, and Sassy picks up any food she finds laying on the ground.
  • Dog Stereotype: Waldo and Sassy are like this to a tease. They love to eat meat, chase squirrels, sleep and other things that dogs love to do.
  • Don't Ask
  • Great Detective: When Waldo and Sassy first put on their disguise, they claim to be playing a detective. They kind of are too.
  • Growling Gut: At one point, Sassy growls when she senses a squirrel. Waldo tries to cover it up by saying that was his stomach grumbling.
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  • Hidden Heart of Gold: When the dogs first meet Bax, Stewart tells them he’s a bully, but they manage to make friends with him only to discover he’s really a nice guy.
  • Hilarity Ensues: When a squirrel runs into the classroom and the dogs chase after it.
  • Human Ladder: Waldo stacks onto Sassy to reach the coat and to try to reach a squirrel. Though he pretty much stays on top of her for a majority of the book.
  • I Don't Think That's Such a Good Idea: Stewart tends to have doubts about the dogs and their schemes.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Bax
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Waldo and Sassy’s disguise consists of a trench coat and nothing more. Waldo isn’t wearing anything to cover up his obvious dog head, but nobody in the school seems to notice or act suspicious in the least. Stewart is the only one who knows it’s them.
  • Punny Name: Bax’s last name is Thabully giving indication that he is the school bully. Though he’s really not.
  • Running Gag: Waldo keeps telling everyone that he is from “Liver, Ohio” as an excuse to explain his unusual behavior.
  • Sneeze of Doom: Sassy sneezes fifteen times in a row whenever sunlight hits her nose directly. Naturally, their cover almost gets blown a couple times because of this.
  • Tiny Guy, Huge Girl: Sassy is clearly much larger and heavier than Waldo, hence why she’s always on the bottom of the disguise.
  • Totem Pole Trench: As if the title wasn’t a giveaway, Waldo and Sassy do this continuously throughout the book.


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