cover image Horse Meets Dog

Horse Meets Dog

Elliott Kalan, illus. by Tim Miller. HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-06-279110-8

Self-centered much? Horse is convinced that Dog is an infant horse—a “wittle cutie tiny baby” horse—and patronizes him accordingly. Dog thinks that Horse is a gargantuan dog with “weird feet.” Neither stops to consider that there might be species other than their own, and the miscommunication only continues as they try to patch things up: Horse gets “Tiny Baby” a miniature saddle “in case a tiny person wants to ride you,” and Dog gets “Big Pal” a ball to chase. Kalan, who has written for The Daily Show, Mystery Science Theater 3000, and Marvel Comics, makes a terrific picture book debut, moving the wonderfully narcissistic dialogue along quickly as these two huge—and hugely mistaken—egos battle it out (“ ‘Tiny baby horse!’ ‘Very big dog!’ ”). Miller (Moo Moo in a Tutu), essentially charged with chronicling a comedy sketch, embraces the challenge by drawing Horse as a preening ovoid with stick legs and fabulous hair, and Dog as a belligerent series of sharp angles. He equips both with a repertoire of opera buffa gestures and expressions (utter disdain! indignation!) to great effect. Ages 4–8. [em]Author’s and illustrator’s agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Oct.) [/em]