cover image Riptide


Frances Ward Weller. Philomel Books, $17.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-399-21675-6

This moving tale, based on a true story, is deftly told and illustrated, and shows a deep appreciation for nature. Rip is a dog that can't be kept at home: he wants to be constantly patrolling the beach like a lifeguard. After heroically saving a girl's life when she's caught in a riptide, Rip is actually accepted as one of the lifeguards: ``His place was on the beach. There wouldn't ever be another like him.'' Rich with the colors of sun-drenched sand and roiling seas, Blake's evocative paintings admirably bring to life this unique animal and the other denizens of the Cape Cod shores. On the final page, Weller writes, ``It was Rip's obituary that first inspired this book,'' giving added poignance to his tale and making it more than just an exciting dog story. Ages 4-8. (Apr.)