cover image SLIPPERS AT HOME; NAPTIME FOR SLIPPERS

SLIPPERS AT HOME; NAPTIME FOR SLIPPERS

Andrew Clements, Author, Janie Bynum, Illustrator , illus. by J

In Slippers at Home , Clements (Frindle ) introduces the chubby hound hero of his new series and owners Mommy, Daddy, Laura and baby Edward—"four people of his very own, and he loves every one of them." Youngsters will quickly be won over by the gusto with which Slippers embraces his daily tasks—and his descriptions of them: "Two times a day, Mommy makes the round sounds. First there is the sound of the big round bowl. Then there is the sound of the nice round can." In Naptime for Slippers , the pooch really does want to take a nap, but the house is so alive with sounds, smells and other stimuli that the pup doesn't finally curl up until the last page. Of course, the canine's appeal is that he's also a kid surrogate, a role Clements addresses with moving empathy and unadorned lyricism. Here, the author describes the dog's nightly walk with Daddy in Slippers at Home : "The world outside the house is so big.... But no matter how far they go, Daddy always finds the way back home." Unfortunately, Bynum's (Altoona Baboona ) watercolor-and-ink drawings lack a similar eloquence. Her sense of pacing is spot-on and she captures some standout moments (the postprandial pet stretched out on his pillow, stuffed and content). But Slippers does not quite live up to the personality suggested by the text, and the humans often look stilted. Ages 2-up. (Mar.)