cover image Good Dog

Good Dog

Cori Doerrfeld. HarperCollins, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-06-266286-6

A black-and-white stray with a wistful look grabs a chance to do good in this story by Doerrfeld (The Rabbit Listened). The dog spots a neighborhood preschooler and her mother headed for the park, then follows her, saves her stuffed animal, returns it, and finds a new home in the process. The text is the twist: it’s a series of fixed, easy-to-read phrases (“Sad dog. Good dog! Hopeful dog. Search dog.”) that follow a variety of pooches throughout the pages. “Sad dog” follows a spread of the hungry stray getting booted from a bakery while another owner says “Good dog!” to his own hound. “Hopeful dog” describes the stray as it trails the girl to the park, and “Search dog” accompanies its setting out to find her among hordes of diverse park-goers. Doerrfeld’s spreads recall Lauren Castillo’s, with friendly figures outlined in soft black. This dose of cuteness also provides a tale of heroism, in which the stray dog’s watchfulness and initiative earn it a new chance at life. Ages 4–8. Agent: Rachel Orr, Prospect Agency. (Aug.)