The Mighty Asparagus ) latest is even bilingual—the dogs' barks have been translated from “dog"/>

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Vladimir Radunsky, Author . Harcourt $16 (40p) ISBN 978-0-15-205177-8

A joyous ode to the love of dogs, Radunsky's (The Mighty Asparagus ) latest is even bilingual—the dogs' barks have been translated from “dog-ese” into English by Radunsky's “learned dog, Tsetsa.” A scruffy brown-and-white mutt hangs around the park looking for an owner, falling in love with every dog-walking human who walks by. On the bench opposite, a big-eyed girl in a polka-dot shift sees the same passersby, but she's interested in the dogs. The dog's wishes are occasionally self-defeating, but more than anything they express his excitable nature (“And what about you, Mr. Whitepants? You already have a dog, too? It looks like everybody has a dog these days”). By contrast, the girl's thoughts are marked by a sense of wonder (“Wow! You're a roller-skating dog! I want you”). Painted with gouache on tea-colored paper, Radunsky's figures are lumpy, colorful shapes accentuated with calligraphic scrawls and curls of black ink, giving them a hapless, lovable look. Visual cues make it clear these two are meant for each other, and the exciting finale in which they meet will be hard to resist. Ages 3–7. (May)

Reviewed on: 04/27/2009
Release date: 05/01/2009
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