Paris-Chien: Adventures of an Ex-pat Dog
Hudson, a plucky terrier, can't wait to meet some French dogs while spending a year in Paris with his owner, a writer. Though Hudson sees many other dogs running errands with their owners, everyone is "so busy going places" that he isn't able to make friends. When he finally finds a dog park, another obstacle arises: the dogs only speak French ("Oh great," Hudson thinks. "I thought all dogs spoke Dog"). Hudson slowly absorbs the French language (thanks to lessons from—who else?—a French poodle), and debut author Mancuso includes a sprinkling of French words throughout, which are defined in a glossary. The story feels designed largely to showcase Mancuso's playful, rough-hewn gouache paintings of Paris and its human and canine denizens (Hudson appears in roughly half of the images). Still, she gives Hudson a bold, amusing narrative voice tinged with self-righteousness ("Are you kidding me?" he grumbles, seeing a no-dogs sign at one park), and he ends the story on a droll note, announcing that he's becoming a real Parisian—"I mean Paris-chien." Ages 3–6.