cover image Please Take Me for a Walk

Please Take Me for a Walk

Susan Gal. Knopf, $15.99 (40pp) ISBN 978-0-375-85863-5

Gazing adoringly up at readers with bright, soulful eyes, a sweet dog with white woolly fur repeatedly uses the titular refrain to request a trip outside, describing all the things he loves to do and see. The puppy will “keep the squirrels high up in the trees” and is eager to meet humans and fellow dogs (“Some neighbors like to pet me, and some neighbors do not”). Gal’s (Night Lights ) fresh and inviting charcoal and digital collage illustrations of a hip, multicultural community (a green map covered with dogs on the endpapers suggests the setting is Berkeley, Calif.) are the highlight, with a menagerie of canines and active city residents, many wearing zesty, fashion-forward clothing. The puppy’s eyes alone telegraph a broad array of emotions, gleaming with excitement, determination, and sometimes tentativeness, as when meeting a group of larger dogs. In the end, it’s all “so everyone can see... my best friend and me.” With his ingenuous enthusiasm and the promise of exciting urban adventures at every turn, readers might wonder why he even has to ask. Ages 3–6. (May)