cover image You?


Vladimir Radunsky, . . Harcourt, $16 (40pp) ISBN 978-0-15-205177-8

A joyous ode to the love of dogs, Radunsky's (The Mighty Asparagus ) latest is even bilingual—the dogs' barks have been translated from “dog-ese” into English by Radunsky's “learned dog, Tsetsa.” A scruffy brown-and-white mutt hangs around the park looking for an owner, falling in love with every dog-walking human who walks by. On the bench opposite, a big-eyed girl in a polka-dot shift sees the same passersby, but she's interested in the dogs. The dog's wishes are occasionally self-defeating, but more than anything they express his excitable nature (“And what about you, Mr. Whitepants? You already have a dog, too? It looks like everybody has a dog these days”). By contrast, the girl's thoughts are marked by a sense of wonder (“Wow! You're a roller-skating dog! I want you”). Painted with gouache on tea-colored paper, Radunsky's figures are lumpy, colorful shapes accentuated with calligraphic scrawls and curls of black ink, giving them a hapless, lovable look. Visual cues make it clear these two are meant for each other, and the exciting finale in which they meet will be hard to resist. Ages 3–7. (May)