Bow-Wow’s Nightmare Neighbors

Mark Newgarden and Megan Montague Cash. Roaring Brook/Porter, $17.99 (64p) ISBN 978-1-59643-640-4
Newgarden and Cash’s terrier Bow-Wow returns in his first full-length adventure since his debut in 2007’s Bow-Wow Bugs a Bug. Some of the sequential panels can take a moment or two to decode, but readers’ patience will be rewarded as they follow Bow-Wow into the haunted mansion across the street as he searches for his stolen doggie bed. Old haunted-house clichés gain new life as the skeptical Bow-Wow encounters a trick floorboard, inspects a painting with moving eyes, and is deceived by things that look remarkably like his beloved bed, but aren’t. Dozens of mischievous ghost cats plague him as he explores, biting his tail when he least expects it. Confident, clear-line drawings in the manner of Hergé or Crockett Johnson give the panels a classic feel, and, in the mostly b&w artwork, color is used to brilliant comic effect. The pacing never flags, and the warm-and-fuzzy ending is as gratifying as it is surreal. Adults and children will enjoy creating a story to accompany the artwork, and they’ll share plenty of laughter as they do. Ages 4–8. Agent: Brenda Bowen, Sanford J. Greenburger Associates. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 05/12/2014
Release date: 09/16/2014
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