cover image Good Boy, Fergus!

Good Boy, Fergus!

David Shannon, . . Scholastic/Blue Sky, $15.99 (40pp) ISBN 978-0-439-49027-6

Judging from his picture-book repertoire,Shannon (No, David! ) knows well how exuberant types tend to get into trouble. His buoyant new work keeps the streak going, this time depicting the spunky, yet ever-so-natural behavior of a family dog (the Shannon family in fact—Fergus the West Highland terrier has appeared somewhere in all of Shannon's books). The morning routine is off to a good start when Fergus's partially seen owner lets him out, but things quickly take a turn: "Ready... set... Cat! " A feline sighting sends Fergus into a frenzy and, once outside, the pepped-up pooch will not come back in. (A hand-lettered page of the owner's verbal entreaties is a hoot.) Digging up a potted plant, getting a bath, taking a fur-fluffing spin in the car and begging for scraps at the table round out Fergus's fun-filled day (and reveal the unseen owner as a true pushover). Through it all, he's commended with "Good boy, Fergus!" Shannon's mixed-media illustrations, in the style of his David books, crackle with personality. Fergus's expressions and poses will be both funny and familiar to dog lovers, and the predominantly close-up perspective offers an immediacy that makes readers feel included in every second of the tail-wagging action. Paws down, Fergus is one memorable pooch. Ages 3-6. (Mar.)