cover image City Dog CL

City Dog CL

Karla Kuskin. Clarion Books, $14.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-395-66138-3

In this slim effort from the creator of the acclaimed The Philharmonic Gets Dressed , a shaggy, energetic pooch accustomed to sidewalk outings kicks up her paws when she is let loose in the countryside. The capering canine discovers, instead of streets and drugstores, ``rabbit holes / to paw and nose / fast bikes / bare toes''; her joy is infectious. Several spreads handsomely convey the boundless open spaces: a horizontal stretch of blue, whitecap-dotted ocean is sandwiched between pale sky and sun-dappled sand; hills roll on with the precision of a patchwork design. In their blending of colors and clarity of images, some of the illustrations work splendidly; a few, however, seem overly cute. The simple, poetic text evokes the sights and sounds of nature--``a yellow melon moon rose up above the wind and lit the road, trees, oats''--although here, too, the word pictures succumb occasionally to coyness. Altogether, an amiable but minor work from a major player (see Paul , reviewed above). Ages 5-8. (Mar.)