cover image Merry-Go-Round Dog

Merry-Go-Round Dog

Elisa Kleven, Elisa Schneider. Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers, $10.95 (23pp) ISBN 978-0-394-89069-2

A girl becomes devoted to a wooden merry-go-round dog, riding him every day. When the park closes for the winter, she is sad until she finds the dog's tail on the ground. After playing with it, she transforms the tail into a painted bird with feathers and a fancy tail. As she and the yellow bird become playmates, she forgets the bird's origin. Once merry-go-round season returns, the girl takes her bird to ride on the dog with her. The girl stumbles upon an old branch that she takes to the merry-go-round man who then uses it to replace the dog's tail. Schneider's illustrations have a folk-art flavor appropriate to this story, but the collage elements of the pictures are not obvious at first. Some readers may wonder why the girl does not return the tail when she first finds it, and why she doesn't confess to the merry-go-round man when he bemoans the loss of the dog's tail. Ages 4-8. (May)