BAD DOG by Mike Boldt + Giveaway

My latest book, BAD DOG, was released earlier this week! If you remember, I talked a bit about it in my series “Idea to Book Deal” back in April 2018 (yes publishing can feel slow sometimes).

But it’s finally here, and looking-back never takes as long as the waiting-for-it-to-be-here part! It’s very exciting to see your book finally out in bookstores and available to purchase.

Today I want to share a bit of BAD DOG with you in it’s final form.

Now, before I share the next page, I thought I’d bring back a rough showing how the original concept pose still make it into the book (in it’s own way).

Also, originally, the main character who goes un-named (but was dubbed, lil’ Jen), was a bit more bedraggled and we decided to lengthen and straighten her hair.

There is actually other versions I had where the main character’s face had a smaller nose in a similar way to the sketch, but I ended up enlarging it as a last minute judgement call after my sketches/roughs had all been approved.

That’s actually something I do from time to time – no, let me correct that statement. That (changing thing after they’ve been approved), is something I do all the time! It’s probably because my sketches and roughs are pretty rough, but it’s also because of the way that I work. I really enjoy sculpting out my characters and pushing myself as I finish the illustration. I’ll notice little things (like her nose size) and just adjust it on each page. Or maybe the pose isn’t quite right, so I adjust that like on the above page.

I changed her pose at the last minute because I just felt I could push it to reveal something that was more true to her character’s personality. A little more “weird dog” type of thought maybe. Was it the right call? I don’t know, but I’m happy with it.

This also happens with the text in my books from time to time. I’ll find myself reading and re-reading my books as I work on the finals and that seems to help me process the pacing and if it’s working or not. And more often than not, there’s a bit that still needs some work and I’m happy we caught it.

So, back to a couple other spreads in this book…

I wanted to share how a book can evolve and transform right up until it’s sent off to the printer. At least it does with my books, like this one. I’m really proud of how BAD DOG has turned out and I hope that many readers, dog and cat owners, and anyone else who reads it, enjoy it.

Until next time!

Special bonus: Back cover has a cat bum. hmmm, that may not actually be a special bonus…

Comment below and I’ll randomly select a comment for a free signed copy of BAD DOG. As always, thank you for taking the time to read my posts and share your thoughts!

Mike Boldt

Mike Boldt is an author and illustrator from Alberta, Canada. With more than 18 books in the wild, he's authored titles such as A TIGER TAIL and ATTACK OF THE 50 FOOT FLUFFY (Simon and Schuster). He's also the illustrator of Dev Petty's I DON'T WANT TO BE A FROG & I DON'T WANT TO BE BIG & THERE'S NOTHING TO DO (Doubleday). You can learn more about Mike at


  1. Congratulations! Bad Dog looks fantastic!

  2. Mike, this looks so fun! Congratulations!

  3. I love the attitude Rocky exhibits in your illustrations! Will be looking for this book!

  4. Hi Mike! This story sounds like a riot! I love the illustrations. I can’t wait to read it! Congratulations!

  5. Cute! Reminds me of how, when I was 5, thought my cat was a boy–until she had kittens!

  6. Cats are my favorite! This looks like a really clever idea!

  7. Becky Scharnhorst

    I’ve been waiting for this book ever since I read the deal announcement! Love the concept and the illustrations! It’s such a funny and fresh way to explore the differences between cats and dogs. Can’t wait to read it!

  8. This will be well-received by our little ones – congrats!

  9. Ha! This looks hilarious, Mike–congrats!

  10. This looks really fun and funny -kids will love it! Congrats!

  11. Bwah-ha-ha! Hope this “Rocky” relationship works out in the end!

  12. This looks like such fun! Thanks for sharing!

  13. This is so funny and true to life. Congratulations!

  14. I’d love to give a copy of this book to my granddaughters, who have a bad dog named Rocky, who just doesn’t do what dogs are supposed to do!

  15. I can’t wait to read this book. I know it’s going to be a favorite around here! Thanks for the interesting post.

  16. Thanks for giving us a peek inside your art and editorial process. BAD DOG sounds like a very good book. I’m adding it to my reading list, for sure. 🙂

  17. I love this “Bad Dog”–and cats, also!

  18. Haha! This is hilarious! And thanks for sharing the changes. The word sculpting is perfect. I think we’re always sculpting away as creators, and it’s wonderful for you to remind us that that’s okay, thanks so much!

  19. So interesting how illustrations can change, even just slightly. Congratulations on BAD DOG, it looks very humorous!!

  20. I love how the spontaneity of the original sketches translate to the final renders. Wonderful expressions, congratulation to what looks like an amazing book.

  21. Kids–and adults–love bad dog stories! Looks adorable!

  22. Cute.

  23. I always enjoy hearing how illustrators work. I’m not one and I find them so interesting. Thanks for sharing.

  24. I can’t wait to read this one–it looks great!

  25. Love the concept of Bad Dog! Can’t wait to read it.

  26. Love the concept of Bad Dog! Can’t wait to read it.

  27. Dog and Cat lovers will love to read this story, very clever!

  28. I am so looking forward to this one.

  29. This looks so fun! I actually had a few “dogs” just like Rocky… but mine loved to go on walks with me. They also “taught” me how to catch meadow voles. (I was not a good student)

  30. Bad has never looked so good.

    Congratulations! ?

  31. Congratulations on the new book! Rocky looks well matched for lil’ Jen.

  32. If you had a similar “Rocky experience” as a child, no worries, you’re not alone. The “Cat”itude is hilarious! LOVE the innocence and effervescence of Lil Jen too! Sure to be a winner with kids, cat and dog lovers alike!

  33. Looks hilarious and so clever! I can’t wait to read it!!

  34. Cute! Cute! Thank you for sharing your process to cutenesses.

    All the best!

  35. Congratulations Mike! It looks like a wonderful book. I’ll add it to my reading list.

  36. This looks like such a fun book. I really appreciate you sharing how it evolved in the illustrations. Good luck with the launch and congratulations!

  37. Oh, this one looks like a hoot to read! Congratulations! I think I have a dog (er, cat) like this one…

  38. Can not wait to get this one! Fantastic balance of heart and humour!

  39. Thanks for sharing the process behind the book. My kiddos and I loved Bad Dog! So funny!

  40. Congratulations, Mike! We loved hearing you read us the story and now we get to see how you work at getting the book completed. So fun and thanks for sharing Bad Dog with us!

  41. Melissa Richardson

    Congrats on your book! What a hilarious concept, and so perfectly executed! Love it!

  42. Oh, Rocky! Thank you for sharing your process, Mike!!

  43. This was so interesting! I loved seeing the characters and idea come to life. Gonna put this on hold at my library!

  44. Congratulations! Bad Dog looks like a super fun book! (Thanks for sharing your process.)

  45. As an aspiring author/illustrator, I’m loving these process posts!

  46. Irresistible, Mike. Gotta have it.

  47. I love it! Can’t wait to read it to my own bad dogs 🙂 Congratulations!!!

  48. I loved this book. It made me laugh. Thanks!!

  49. Huge congrats, Mike!! So excited (and obviously LOOOOVVVVE ‘lil Jen) about this new book of yours. It has all the charm and truth and laughs of a signature Mike Boldt book.

  50. Janet Frenck Sheets

    I already love Rocky — she’s my kind of “dog.”

  51. My granddaughter loves it. I had to read it to her at least 20 times while visiting for the Thanksgiving holiday. I will be getting this book for her for Christmas. She is in love with cats but actually has a dog that she is always telling him that he is a Bad Dog….Hope you publish more books like this that are just as enjoyable.

  52. Thanks for the peek behind the process, Mike. Looking forward to meeting Rocky.

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