cover image Harry Goes to Dog School

Harry Goes to Dog School

Scott Menchin. HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-06-195801-4

Harry, the protagonist of this mild comedy, would rather be a dog than a boy. In cleanly outlined cartoon illustrations, Menchin (Taking a Bath with the Dog) shows Harry growling when he’s served a bowl of oatmeal, barking at a cat, and licking his sister’s cheek when he’s told to kiss her good night. His parents enroll him in the Pavlov Royal Academy, where his fellow students are all dogs. “School was a dream come true!” Harry happily follows commands to sit, roll over, and fetch, but “lunch was not what he expected,” his efforts to share his drawings and build blocks with his friends fall flat, and at naptime Harry dreams about all the fun things a boy can do that a dog cannot. When Harry expectedly announces he’d like to be a boy again, “His parents were okay with that.” Though scenes of Harry behaving (and misbehaving) like a dog will draw laughs, it’s an even-keeled and low-stakes story that doesn’t do much, comically or otherwise, with the potential of its premise. Ages 4–8. Agent: Holly McGhee, Pippin Properties. (July)