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NOBODY'S DIGGIER THAN A DOG

Susan Campbell Bartoletti, Author, Beppe Giacobbe, Illustrator
Susan Campbell Bartoletti, Author, Beppe Giacobbe, Illustrator , illus. by Beppe Giacobbe. Hyperion $15.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-7868-1824-2
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Dog fanciers, especially, will find much to love in this offbeat and energetic paean to man's best friend, the latest collaboration from the team behind Nobody's Nosier Than a Cat . For anyone in search of an adjective to describe canines' quirky, annoying and loveable behaviors, this book is the source. "Nobody's/ diggier / than a dog—/ a bury-the-bone dog,/ a shake-a-paw dog," the narrative begins. And a pooch's pigginess is summed up by "a dribble-drool,/ toilet-drink,/ breathy-stink dog." But at the end of the day, "Nobody's cuddlier than a dog—/ a wraparound, lap-hugger,/ bed-snuggler dog." With a seemingly endless (in a good way) supply of jaunty verses, Bartoletti expresses a keen insight into dogdom. Giacobbe has a tail-wagging good time illustrating the action, giving all manner of pedigree pups and mutts a fair shake in his artwork (a repentant pug as "a chew-the-shoe dog,/ a What'd-I-do? dog" is especially winning). The stylized blend of painting and digital manipulation creates scenes saturated with crisp swaths of color—bright green hillsides or creamy-brown wooden floors. The action often takes place at dog's eye–level, too, so lots of human shoes, legs and knees pepper the pages. And readers can enjoy a simultaneous shaggy-dog tale—starring a brown dachshund, a black cat and a dogcatcher—depicted visually in the background throughout. Ages 3-up. (Feb.)

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