cover image Woe Is Moe

Woe Is Moe

Diane Stanley. Putnam Publishing Group, $15.95 (1pp) ISBN 978-0-399-22699-1

Moe the dog gave his friend Arlene a faux beach in Stanley and Primavera's infectiously upbeat Moe the Dog in Tropical Paradise; now it's Arlene's turn to surprise Moe. This time, the shaggy brown protagonist invents a slogan for the ice-cream company where he and Arlene work (``Golly wow! Try Frozen Cow! It's the cat's meow!'')--and snags a big promotion. Success quickly spoils him--he's so busy hyping product and strutting in his money-green suit that he doesn't have time to meet Arlene at the Happy-All Chinese restaurant; the message on Moe's answering machine, which announces, ``If you're calling to request an interview, press `two' now,'' emphasizes the distance between him and his best pal. So, with a series of fortune-cookie messages, the lonely Arlene leads Moe on a treasure hunt to the Happy-All, where he discovers that money is no substitute for friendship. The familiar moral receives a winning treatment in Stanley's skilled hands, and, perhaps best of all, Primavera's offbeat illustrations--spiked with punchy yellows, fuchsias, greens and oranges--capture the singular personalities of zealous Moe and shy Arlene. Ages 4-8. (Apr.)