cover image Archie


Domenica More Gordon. Bloomsbury, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-59990-936-3

Gordon, a Scottish artist whose uncannily lifelike felted dogs have attracted gallery showings and celebrity attention, makes her picture book debut with an all-dog cast and a story about creativity and growing fame. Archie, a well-dressed dog, receives a sewing machine as a gift. He takes to it immediately, creating smart outfits for his own pet dog, his friends' dogs, and his friends. His phone is ringing off the hook by book's end%E2%80%94the final call comes from a canine monarch with a crown, handbag, and pet corgi. Although Gordon is a newcomer to the form, her %E2%80%A8visual storytelling is already marvelously accomplished. Her line, pacing, and judicious use of empty space seem long-practiced, and her hand-lettered sound effects%E2%80%94the only text in the story%E2%80%94evoke smiles ("pom pom pom de pom," Archie hums casually as he takes his dog out in his new coat; "ohhh" says a pug on the street, aching with envy). Even without the success Archie finds, his life as a clothing designer living alone with his dog is a winning premise; it's a distinctively British pairing, somewhere between Jeeves and Wooster and Wallace and Gromit. Ages 3%E2%80%936. (Oct.)