cover image Be Careful What You Sniff For

Be Careful What You Sniff For

Nancy Krulik, illus. by Sebastien Braun. Grosset & Dunlap, $4.99 trade paper (128p) ISBN 978-0-448-46399-5

This high-energy first tale in the Magic Bone series features Sparky, a rambunctious and perennially hungry sheepdog who narrates with comical dog-speak and rowdy sound effects. Banished to the backyard by his “two-leg,” Josh, after a couple of accidents indoors (“Wiggle, waggle, yikes! There goes the tall, skinny glass water bowl Josh keeps on the table”), Sparky unearths a magical bone that transports him to London. A dogcatcher captures Sparky and throws him in the pound, but he and a friendly older dog escape and enjoy the sights—and street food—of the city before Sparky returns home. In addition to channeling the id of her canine hero, Krulik (the George Brown, Class Clown series) adds a light travelogue element to the story, as Sparky shares a humorous, puppy’s-eye view of London attractions; capsule historical notes close out the book. Braun (Toot and Pop!) contributes cartoon illustrations (not all seen by PW) on nearly every page, which easily match Sparky’s enthusiasm and excitement. Sparky’s bone takes him to Hawaii in Catch That Wave, due simultaneously. Ages 7–9. Illustrator’s agent: the Bright Agency. (May)