cover image The Howling Dog

The Howling Dog

Tracey Campbell Pearson. Farrar Straus Giroux, $13.95 (1pp) ISBN 978-0-374-33502-1

In a sleepy country hamlet, ``The moon was up and all was quiet in the town, until . . . the Howling Dog began to bark.'' She breaks free of her clothesline tether and proceeds to run amok, waking up assorted members of the community--human and animal alike. The Weatherbees' dog and cat, ``the Burgs' chickens, who woke up the Burgs,'' Farmer John's cows and family--all are roused by the canine's persistent cacophony. Once the whole town is up, the Howling Dog, ``no longer lonely,'' is one pacified pooch. All (dog included) return to their beds, as the sun rises over a blissfully bucolic landscape. Though somewhat slight, Pearson's ( The Storekeeper ; Old MacDonald Had a Farm ) endearing, gently humorous tale is a winning--if slightly unorthodox--bedtime read. Her boisterous animals and rumpled citizenry are lovingly depicted--inhabiting a fetching town that would make Thornton Wilder proud. As usual, Pearson makes a virtue of simplicity. Ages 2-up. (Sept.)