cover image Wag a Tail

Wag a Tail

Lois Ehlert, . . Harcourt, $16 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-15-205843-2

I n Ehlert’s (Leaf Man ) snazzy cut-paper world, dogs are definitely allowed—at the farmer’s market and, of course at the dog park—especially if they are graduates of the Bow Wow obedience school. As told from the pooches’ perspective, various Bow Wow alums greet each other and brag about their good behavior (expressed in white talk bubbles, e.g. “We never drool”) while their owners grab a coffee or browse the farmer’s market stalls. When one peppy pup breaks the rules, the others keep their cool and later welcome their repentant pal for a romp at the park. Using colors as fresh as the fruits, vegetables and flowers she depicts, Ehlert patterns a collage-quilt featuring sewn-on button eyes, glued-on patches of fabric and a canine cast largely clipped with pinking shears (the ones belonging to the artist’s mother and previously seen in her book Hands ). As always, there’s a lot to see in Ehlert’s crisply textured compositions on oversize square pages, challenging young readers to dive right into her visual storytelling. Profiles of the dog protagonists appear on the end pages. And dog lovers can rest assured that the book’s title is right on the money—Ehlert offers a generous helping of tail-wagging fun. Ages 3-7. (Apr.)