cover image Bounce


Doreen Cronin, , illus. by Scott Menchin. . S&S/Atheneum, $14 (40pp) ISBN 978-1-4169-1627-7

In this charming follow-up to Wiggle , Cronin, Menchin and their doggie hero guide readers in life lessons as a series of literal ups and downs. "If you bounce into a puddle ," the chipper canine says as he leaps off a lamppost à la Gene Kelly in Singin' in the Rain , "it's best to bounce in boots ." The author completes the rhyme on the following spread, which finds the pooch with a spring in his step in the produce department: "If you must bounce in the market,/ it's best not to bounce in fruits!" Parents will appreciate the words of caution when bouncing gets out of hand ("Bouncing with your best friend is called a bouncing double./ Bouncing on the couch is called big bouncing trouble "; Menchin shows the two airborne with only the couch's back visible, then tumbling to the floor with only the furniture's feet showing). The artist works in bold ink outlines and bright, even digital colors, and uses whimsical photographic images here and there for comic punctuation. Cronin and Menchin build to a bravura finish, with an allusion to love: "A bounce can turn into a bump ,/ a bump into a fall ./ But it's better to have bounced and bumped .../ than never to have bounced at all!" (the long-eared hero sports a plethora of bandages, but also a wistful smile). Readers young and old will likely enjoy bouncing through these pages. Ages 1-4. (May)