Rollo Bones, Canine Hypnotist

Marshall M. Moyer, Author, Marshall M. Moyer, Illustrator Tricycle Press $14.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-883672-65-2
Rollo Bones, a yellow dog with ""soulful""eyes, assists a performer known only as the Amazing Brain. When the Brain calls a member of their audience onstage, Rollo hypnotizes the volunteer with a stare. The act is a smash success, but Rollo grows unhappy: ""Fame and money had gone to [the Brain's] head.... Rollo was tired of being treated like some kind of stupid baby."" Rollo runs away; then, thinking better of it, he reunites with the Brain and teaches him a lesson--but not before sending a psychic message to a TV audience. The sweet ending to this otherwise mildly sinister debut finds ""people everywhere, out walking and playing with their dogs."" Moyer blends oil pastels over textured paper for a waxy, nubby effect, and flattens the compositions. The Brain, with his weird brush of orange hair, purple tux and bottle-thick glasses, fits the mold of the crooked impresario, while likenesses of the wide-eyed Rollo resemble the sort of uncanny portraits to be found at a thrift store. Moyer concludes with the command, ""Now close the book,"" cleverly suggesting readers' own susceptibility to the dog's powers and injecting a last note of levity. But despite the humor, the bizarre subject matter and art leave a strange aftertaste. Ages 5-8. (May)
Reviewed on: 03/01/2004
Release date: 03/01/2004
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