He's Your Dog!

Pat Schories, Author Farrar Straus Giroux $15 (1p) ISBN 978-0-374-32906-8
Like Marc Brown's Arthur's New Puppy (reviewed below), Schories's picture book deals with a boy whose high-spirited puppy's high jinks lands him in the doghouse. But where Brown plays for comedy, Schories is more introspective. Much of her tale is told through her luminous drawings, which appear as full-spread art and as inset panels housing both an initial and a vignette. The first page, for example, shows a woman opening the door of her rural house and evicting a sad-looking dog. ``He's your dog!'' begins the text. ``If you can't train him better, we're getting rid of him!'' The initial ``H'' is propped before the remains of a once-stylish high-heeled shoe, with which the dog has evidently made merry. The dog's young owner fantasizes a series of escapes, imagining running away with his pet to the farm on the other side of town, to a Southern beach, to an all-night truckstop, etc. Amid the reveries, the puppy approaches, tempted by the boy's dangling shoelace--prompting, at last, an effectively timed lesson in `` Never chew shoes! '' The message about timing is perhaps too subtly put for the target audience, but the homey view of boy and furry friend will seem hearteningly familiar even to the dogless. Ages 3-7. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/04/1993
Release date: 10/01/1993
Genre: Children's
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