cover image Rosie the Truffle Hound

Rosie the Truffle Hound

Jessie Hartland. Penguin/Paulsen, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-399-54875-8

In 2005, Hartland introduced Clementine, a poodle who wanted more out of life. Now, there’s lanky brown Rosie, who walks on her hind legs and whose loving interracial human family is completely preoccupied making chocolate truffles, which she can’t even eat, to sell in their seaside shop. So Rosie hops on a bike (a recurring and delightfully silly image) and runs away to the city, where employment misfires abound. Happily, her keen sense of smell earns her a job in the country hunting truffles: “not the chocolate kind! They are hard-to-find fungi—like mushrooms,” coveted by chefs, with a “divine” smell that’s “earthy and nutty and musty and unique.” Rosie’s an instant success, but home calls; to the delight of her entrepreneurial family, her newly sensitized nose finds truffles right in their backyard, doubling their shop’s wares. The brisk narration and colorful gouache paintings have plenty of cheek—as befits the indomitable, improbable protagonist—and the pages fly by, propelled by characters who seem always to be in motion. Like truffles (both kinds), there’s plenty to savor. Ages 4–8. Agent: Brenda Bowen, the Book Group. (Sept.)