cover image Floaty


John Himmelman. Holt, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-250-12805-8

A.N. Kang’s gravity-defying cat Papillon gets some competition in Himmelman’s irresistible tale of a floating dog who wins over a reluctant caregiver. Mr. Raisin, a grumpy old man who spends his days sewing, utters his favorite word (“blah”) when he finds a basket on his doorstep. Inside is a black-and-white pup who promptly floats up to the ceiling. After catching the dog, Mr. Raisin is about to release him outside when he realizes, “You’ll just float away, won’t you?” Mr. Raisin gradually warms to the pet he names Floaty (“You’ll probably need water, too,” he says, using a garden hose to get the job done) and is devastated when the dog sails away after his leash snaps during a walk. Vividly colored and outlined in thick strokes of black, Himmelman’s bold cartoons should draw plenty of laughs as he tracks the evolution of this unconventional human-pet relationship. Even the alarming sequence in which Floaty soars off into the distance is balanced by funny moments, as when the dog swoops down to snag some pizza from an unsuspecting delivery man. Anything but blah. Ages 4–8. (Jan.)