Thursday, May 5, 2016

Two Picture Books Featuring Dogs

Today's post is about two picture books for dog lovers. Count me among the breed. My best friend--a pug--just turned 15. And according to The Perfect Dog, I didn't find Pablo, he found me. Perfectly true. Pablo was the only pup of the litter who kept coming over to make friends. It was love at first sniff.

The Perfect Dog is narrated by a girl who has just been given permission to get a dog--any child's dream come true. In the course of the book, she expounds on what that perfect dog should be and takes each trait to an amusing conclusion. For instance, when "the perfect dog should big...bigger...biggest," the illustrations show her with a chow, a German shepherd, and a Saint Bernard. Then there's the kicker: "Maybe not this big." And there she is with a Great Dane resting its giant paw on her. The pattern continues with other adjectives (small, long, etc.) and other breeds of dogs. The book concludes with the girl going to get her perfect dog only to have the perfect dog chose her. Pablo would approve.

The Perfect Dog
by Kevin O'Malley
Crown  40 pages
Published: May 2015

Next up is Wolf Camp, a picture book about an engaging mutt who is proud of his wolfish origins. Wondering what it would be like to live like a real wolf, he gets his chance to find out when he spots an advertisement for Wolf Camp in his bag of kibble. He spends a week at the sleep-away camp learning how to mark territory, howl, track, and hunt. Zuill's humorous illustrations capture the canine campers attempts at mastering these skills. (My favorite shows Homer taking a whiz on Fang, a wolf counselor.) Like human campers, Homer struggles with homesickness and the food (it has hair on it). But by week's end, he has earned his honorary wolf certificate and made friends. And that's something to howl about.

Wolf Camp
by Andrea Zuill
 Schwartz & Wade  40 pages
Published: May 2016