Tucker Flips!

Leslie McGuirk, Author, Leslie McGuirk, Illustrator
Leslie McGuirk, Author, Leslie McGuirk, Illustrator Dutton Books $7.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-525-46259-0
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Three white puppies frolic in this unpretentious picture book, whose elementary images and tiny trim size invite beginners. Tucker and his two brothers love to eat, sleep and play. In a montage of petite line drawings on an apple-green background, the identical pups demonstrate their favorite activities: ""They played tug-of-war. They practiced barking."" On his own, Tucker enjoys diving from the couch to a soft pillow. This urge for deeds of derring-do serves him well one winter day, when a bumpy sled ride tosses him into the air. A dotted line in the solid blue sky maps Tucker's end-over-end trajectory into snow that's the same pure white as his fur (""He wagged his tail to show [his mother] that he was okay""). The title suspensefully anticipates Tucker's performance, but, disappointingly, no pictures show him practicing his feat. On the other hand, McGuirk, who has published children's books in Japan, writes concise sentences and skillfully pares down her illustrations to a few careful lines and opaque colors. Her playful caricatures of West Highland white terriers (with their wiry coats, pointed ears and black-dot eyes and noses) suggest the pups' na vet and infectious bouncy energy. Children may well flip over this endearing daredevil. Ages 3-up. (Oct.)
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