cover image Toasty


Sarah Hwang. Holiday House/Ferguson, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-8234-4707-7

Toasty, a piece of bread with arms, legs, and a face, so enjoys watching the hounds frolic outside his window that he longs to join their species. Though he can muster an impressive bark, all of his other attempts to turn canine fall far short: he’s easily intimidated by a cat, and he turns soggy when rolling in a puddle. But Toasty is dogged, even though his plan to hang with the pooches in the park is headed for disaster. And here’s where Hwang’s story takes an unexpected turn: when Toasty escapes from the hungry dogs by hiding in a picnic sandwich, he meets a young hound enthusiast with allergies for whom, with a couple of barks, Toasty becomes the toast of the dog park. Newcomer Hwang’s quirky plot has the meandering joy of a small child’s storytelling logic, while acrylic paint, colored-pencil, and digital pictures give the triumphant Toasty a sketchbook immediacy as he engages in doggy doings. Ages 4–6. [em]Agent: Shadra Strickland, Painted Words. (May) [/em]