cover image Newf


Marie Killilea. Philomel Books, $14.95 (1pp) ISBN 978-0-399-21875-0

This old-fashioned dog story by the author of Karen and With Love from Karen exhibits the pathos of Lassie's adventures without the sentimentality. Sure to tug at animal-lovers' hearts, the tale concerns the tenderly burgeoning friendship of its only characters: a burly Newfoundland dog that emerges from the sea--it was a puzzle whence he had come--and a skinny, dirty, white kitten. Wary of each other at first, the two reconnoiter in a frisky game of wag, advance, pounce, retreat, then proceed to more loving, trusting recreation. The seasons pass; Newf rescues his feline pal from the sea, from a snowdrift, and the friends are happy in their no longer deserted cottage. In clear, active prose, Killilea unfolds her tale so directly that its emotional content may catch readers unaware. In Schoenherr's children's book debut, the artist provides bold, graphic images. These oversize illustrations, in earthy, textured colors, fill up space with a Georgia O'Keeffe-like spareness. A touching tale with a subtle message about interdependence, perfect for reading aloud. All ages. (Sept.)