Ruff! and the Wonderfully Amazing Busy Day

Caroline Jayne Church, Author, Caroline Jayne Church, Illustrator
Caroline Jayne Church. Harper, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-06-201498-6
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Ruff’s perky snout and delighted expression don’t look very different from those of other adorable puppies, but he doesn’t live to romp around. He works nonstop, cheerfully and independently. He weeds his garden, washes his windows, and digs a garden pond, inadvertently ruining the underground house of a mouse named Hubble. After calming Hubble—“I’ll make you another house! Please stay!”—he builds him a replacement mouse-size shed (Hubble knits and practices his trumpet while he waits). But wait—that’s not all! Ruff and Hubble meet a lost duck named Lottie and talk her into living with them, too, offering her a new home in Ruff’s garden pond. “A small pond needs a small duck,” Ruff points out. Ruff’s perpetual motion will feel familiar to children, whose days last forever and whose play feels like important work. Ruff’s softhearted antics amuse, too, as when he tries to comfort the distraught Lottie: “He tried giving her a necklace and a flower and a half-eaten sausage.” Church’s (Baby’s First Year) gently textured collages cement the homey mood of this simple story about finding friends. Ages 4–8. (June)
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