cover image BLACK DOG GETS DRESSED

BLACK DOG GETS DRESSED

Lizi Boyd, Author . Candlewick $11.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-7636-1980-0

In this fresh and friendly look at a morning ritual, a dark-haired child prepares to go outside. "Time to get dressed, Black Dog!" he tells his pet, a solid-black Lab. Routine expectations are disrupted, however, when the dog takes the child's role and the child acts like a parent. "First you need underpants," the boy says as the dog helpfully picks up a back leg. "One paw, two paws. Good dog!" Like a playful adult, the child says "peekaboo" as he pulls a nubby blue sweater over Black Dog's head, and he gently corrects his pet's resistant behavior: "Don't sit down. I need to put on your pants.... Please, Black Dog. Come back!" Boyd (Lulu Crow's Garden) limns the characters in a few solid, undiluted gouache hues, and allows their personalities to come through in their gestures. Black Dog lowers his ears and looks uncertain, lifts his head after a compliment and licks the boy's cheek. The child's mouth forms a disapproving "O" or relaxes into a soft smile. At the conclusion, the boy gets ready, too ("Shh! Please don't bark. I'll hurry"). He puts on an all-black costume with ears: "I'm you and you're me! Let's go play!" Readers of all ages will relate to Boyd's good-humored analogy between a tractable but restless pooch and a wiggly child. Ages 2-5. (Aug.)