cover image Only One Woof

Only One Woof

James Herriot, James Harriot. St. Martin's Press, $13 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-312-58583-9

This is the British veterinarian's second book for children and surely destined to join all his stories on bestseller lists. Herriot's understated narrative stars Gyp and Sweep, sheepdog brothers with an extraordinary love for each other. Their owners, Mr. and Mrs. Wilkins, sell Sweep to a farmer but keep Gyp becauseas they tell the authorhe has never once barked. A year later, the Wilkinses take Gyp to a sheepdog trial where Sweep is performing admirably. Gyp watches intently and, as his brother guides the last of his flock into the pen, the soundless dog barks a single woof, before running to join Sweep in lusty play as in their puppy days. And that, Herriot declares, was the only time Gyp felt it necessary to give voice. Although Barrett's humans are stiff and unexpressive, his full-color paintings of animals and of the unspoiled, serene English countryside are simply wonderful. 175,000 first printing; $50,000 ad/promo; first serial rights to Redbook; BOMC selection. (All ages)