cover image The Best Days Are Dog Days

The Best Days Are Dog Days

Aaron Meshon. Dial, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-525-42817-6

In Take Me Out to the Yakyu (2012), Meshon used visual parallels to explore the similarities and differences between baseball in the U.S. and Japan. In this story, ebulliently narrated by a family's charcoal gray bulldog, he brings a similar symmetry to the day-to-day rituals and activities of the dog and his human "Sis." Bold, hand-lettered typography gives Meshon's posterlike acrylic paintings even greater impact. When readers first see the girl and dog, they are sharing a bed, their zzzzzs entwined like ribbons, emphasizing their cuddly mutual adoration. Later in the day, side-by-side extreme close-ups of their faces highlight the tooth-brushing aspect of their bedtime routines ("minty!" toothpaste for her, "beefy!" for him). In between, there are meals with Mom and Dad, squirrels to chase in the park, and even "time for a potty break" ("Mom helps Sis inside. Dad helps me outside") during an outing. Full of humorous, true-to-life details, it's a joyful story of a dog-loving family (and a family-loving dog) that's assured on every level: graphic, verbal, and emotional. Ages 3%E2%80%935. Agent: Rubin Pfeffer, Rubin Pfeffer Content. (Apr.)