Alright everyone, this is the first time I try anything like this so any type of criticism is highly appreciated. Since this is the first time I try anything like this I'd like to be placed in the NEW category for the contest.
The idea is very cute and the expression on his face is just adorable!
To be a first time you've done a great job on the shading. You've grasped the basic idea of shading with dithering and it all looks quite good ^^ Also nice touch with the shine in his eyes, and the different highlights on his face.
One thing that you could improve on is getting the right contrast between each shade of red. Between some shades there is a big difference, and between others the difference is very small. Having an equal amount of contrast between each color will help in making it look much smoother.
Other than that I think this is a great entry for the contest. Good luck!