DOGGIE IN THE WINDOW

Elaine Arsenault, Author, Fanny, Illustrator , illus. by Fanny. Groundwood $14.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-88899-619-0

With a plucky hero, a plethora of costumes and a pleasing ending, this story attests to the idea that "even a small dog can have a big dream. And make it come true." Unlike the pooch in the familiar tune, the Doggie in first-time author Arsenault's tale takes matters into his own paws. Next-door, the seamstress Mademoiselle Madeleine doesn't notice how adorably the Jack Russell terrier wags his tail in his pet store cage, so Doggie sneaks through a hole in the wall to her dress shop at night and fashions a series of costumes for himself sure to win her attention. Former costume designer Fanny is at her best when illustrating the transformation of Doggie into a zebra-print kitten, a beribboned fish in a red bathing cap, and even a wall-climbing lizard with green suction cups fastened to his paws. Mademoiselle Madeleine thinks Monsieur Albert's new kitten is "odd-looking" and his fish in need of water wings. When she asks, "Why on earth is [that doggie] dressed like a lizard?" Monsieur Albert explains that Doggie made the costumes himself and wants to be a seamstress just like her. When she says she doesn't need a seamstress, the artwork highlights the dog's anxiety, but in the final spread, the woman walks happily down the street accompanied by her new costume designer, Doggie. While the ending is predictable, youngsters will nonetheless cheer when the dogged hero not only finds a home but indeed makes his dream come true. Ages 4-8. (Nov.)

Reviewed on: 01/10/2005
Release date: 10/01/2004
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