cover image Bulldog's Big Day

Bulldog's Big Day

Kate McMullan, illus. by Pascal Lemaitre, Scholastic/Orchard, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-545-17155-7

In a world where everyone else's day is defined by the exciting "hustle-bustle" of work, diminutive, unemployed Bulldog is odd pooch out. Apprenticeships with his pals Spider the window washer, Moose the sign painter, Giraffe the fireman, and Elephant the bookseller are washouts (he's afraid of heights, and he'd rather read than shelve books). But his friends notice a professionally rewarding talent that Bulldog has overlooked: he makes fabulous cookies. On the final pages, Bulldog's Cookie Bakery is a smashing success: "Outside, everyone is yakking and laughing and waiting in a long, long line.... All the exciting hustle-bustle has come to him!" McMullan (I Stink!) and Lemaitre (Do Not Open This Book!) have put together an appealing package reminiscent of a Richard Scarry book. Each of Bulldog's misadventures unfolds on its own spread (with a chapter's worth of story on each), the ample text is succinct and bouncy, and the predominantly spot illustrations make judicious use of slapstick humor. The lesson is one worth learning: the road to finding one's professional bliss isn't always easy, but the end result is well worth the occasional pothole. Ages 3–7. (Feb.)