As Warm as the Sun
Married collaborators Kate and Jim McMullan (I Stink!
) tell the story of Toby, a russet French bulldog who loves warm spots: a “morning sun puddle,” a cuddle in his beloved human’s lap, a front-row seat by the fire. But those pleasures inevitably “fade or disappear or fizzle,” reads one of the book’s many evocative lines, and they become even more short-lived when the family welcomes a new Frenchie into the house, white Pinkie. Now Toby has competition for all the warm spots—until he realizes that Pinkie’s snuggling and companionship mean a sunlike warmth is “right there beside him.” Velvety, radiant watercolors, a mix of spreads and vignettes, immerse readers in the floor-adjacent landscape of a small dog’s world; the illustrator’s signature gift for evoking character with sculptural volume and density seems tailor-made for the chiseled, chunky protagonists. And while Toby’s sense of uncertainty and indignity feels authentically portrayed (“Toby felt pushed out, left out. He barked WOOF WOOF! GO AWAY!
”), readers will sense that there is hope: even when he retreats to the basement and life is literally at its darkest, there are always hints of light. Ages 3–7. Agent: Holly McGhee, Pippin Properties. (Aug.)