cover image Bloop


Tara Lazar, illus. by Mike Boldt. HarperCollins, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-06-287160-2

After “too many bloopers,” green extraterrestrial Bloop, who hails from a population of canine-like creatures, is sent to conquer Earth and prove that he’s worthy to be the next emperor of his own planet. Upon arrival, he finds that Earth is already being run by beings similar to him—in fact, they’ve successfully trained humans to carry, chase, and scoop. Attempting to learn dogs’ secrets, he eyes the way they “inspected their empire”—sticking heads out of car windows while being chauffeured around. Hoping to insinuate himself as a way of grabbing power, the pug-like Bloop gets adopted by a loving interracial family; their adoration and service persuades him that he is now “supreme leader” with all the benefits—“including something called ‘bacon,’ ” writes Lazar (The Upper Case: Trouble in Capital City). With its goofy narrative energy, skewed perspective, and accumulating visual gags, the story instantly brings to mind a classic cartoon; indeed, Boldt’s (Bad Dog) protagonist has the googly-eyed expressiveness and boundless, roly-poly physicality of a Warner Bros. animation, with a core joke that’s on human readers. Ages 4–8. [em]Author’s agent: Ammi-Joan Paquette, Erin Murphy Literary. Illustrator’s agent: Jennifer Rofé, Andrea Brown Literary. (July) [/em]