Santiago Stays

Angela Dominguez. Abrams Appleseed, $12.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-4197-0821-3
Dominguez (Let’s Go, Hugo!) creates a portrait of a dog that defies the stereotype of a shallow, easily bribable creature. The adorable Santiago has pointy ears and eyes that gleam when his young master calls. Dominguez’s drawings, outlined in ink and pencil, appear against clean white backdrops, the better to contrast the boy’s entreaties with Santiago’s placid nonreactions. “Look,” the boy cries, waving a spotted elephant. “I’ve got your favorite toy!” Santiago, in the corner of the opposite page, stares but doesn’t move. Offers to fetch, go for a walk, and wear a favorite sweater are spurned; even magnificent treats (“Maybe a turkey leg? With a hamburger?”) don’t tempt him. When he does show interest, it’s in response to the cry of another person in the room—a very small person. And since the boy is concerned about the fuss coming from the crib, too, the two become allies. The idea that there’s a dog who cares more about a crying baby than a hamburger is a heartwarming one; Santiago isn’t just cute but, in his own small way, noble, too. Ages 2–5. Agent: Linda Pratt, Wernick & Pratt. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 07/29/2013
Release date: 09/01/2013
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