cover image No More Bows

No More Bows

Samantha Cotterill. Harper, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-06-240870-9

Hugo is a patient yellow dog, always willing to play “tea party... and dress-up... and house... all morning” with his owner, Milly. But when Milly insists that he don a series of huge, ridiculous red bows (“Frilly ones. Sparkly ones. Bows with jewels and bows with buttons”) before going out on their daily walks, Hugo becomes the laughingstock of his canine peers and runs away. Cotterill uses a broad, bouncy cartooning style reminiscent of mid-1960s animation for her first picture book, a story that raises important questions about the give and take of friendship that aren’t entirely addressed. Milly and Hugo clearly miss each other during his brief rebellion, but she remains clueless that her actions are responsible. It’s up to Hugo to find a solution that works for them both: a jaunty bow tie he can proudly wear around his neck. Everybody ends up happy, but astute readers may note that Milly didn’t have to do any real work or compromising—and that she herself wears some rather demure bows in her own red pigtails. Ages 4–8. Agent: Kirsten Hall, Catbird Agency. (Jan.)