cover image Broadway Barks

Broadway Barks

Bernadette Peters, , illus. by Liz Murphy. . Blue Apple, $17.95 (40pp) ISBN 978-1-934706-00-8

Peters weaves a sweet if slight story around the eponymous theater-district annual benefit she founded with Mary Tyler Moore (who makes an uncredited cameo as “a tall lady with a pretty smile”) to promote adoption of shelter animals. Douglas is an abandoned and brokenhearted terrier living in a Manhattan park, his sad-sack scruffiness underscored by Murphy's (ABC Doctor ) roughhewn, mixed-media collage work. One day, he depends on the kindness of the right stranger: a luxuriantly coiffed lady who looks a lot like Peters. One short taxi ride to Shubert Alley later, the dog is rewarded with a new owner (a girl patron of Broadway Barks) and a new name (Kramer). The CD features two tracks by Peters: a somewhat wan narration of the book, and a silky, piano-bar rendition of an original lullaby sung to Kramer. Peters pulls more than a few heartstrings in portraying Douglas/Kramer's yearning for a home, and Murphy peppers her illustrations with some ingenious touches (the Manhattan skyline is partially constructed from old tape measures). Ultimately, however, the appeal of this story rests chiefly on the good intentions of its creators.. Ages 4–8. (June)