Eli, No!

Katie Kirk. Abrams, $14.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-8109-8964-1
Kirk, one half of the graphic design team Eight Hour Day, debuts with a squeaky clean ode (as far as design, anyway) to a troublemaking dog. Eli, a sleek brown pup inspired by Kirk’s pet, “is a good dog, but sometimes bad.” (Opposing pages hold blue ribbons and trophies on one side, an “F-” report card from obedience school and a wanted poster on the other.) “What do we say when we get mad? Eli, no! When he eats too much? Eli, no!” Amid the call-and-answer prose, Eli is shown causing havoc (in a very tidy, designy kind of way): lolling amid spilled groceries, bite marks in most everything; chasing a squirrel past prim rows of trees and flowers; and stretched out over a bright yellow bed defined by just a few lines. The retro-meets-modern aesthetic is crisp almost to the point of being sterile, with details reduced to the barest minimum possible. But the bright colors, fun format, and never-in-doubt answer regarding whether Eli is still loved should attract hip families who love both dogs and design. Ages 3–6. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/12/2011
Release date: 10/01/2011
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