cover image A Greyhound, a Groundhog

A Greyhound, a Groundhog

Emily Jenkins, illus. by Chris Appelhans. Schwartz & Wade, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-553-49805-9

Dedicated to picture book icon Ruth Krauss, this elegant pas de deux between two unlikely creatures recalls the sense of uninhibited play that Krauss brought to her own work. “A hound./ A round hound./ A greyhound,” Jenkins (Toys Meet Snow) starts, accompanied by Appelhans’s watercolor of a curled-up dog, its abstract form captured in a few graceful strokes. “A hog./ A round hog./ A groundhog,” she continues, as Appelhans (Sparky!) paints a fat, furry fellow with tiny ears and a shy smile poking its head up aboveground. For “a greyhound, a groundhog,/ a found little/ roundhog,” the artist shows the dog approaching the startled rodent, and the two soon make friends: “Around, round hound./ Around, groundhog!” The animals play, the words play, and the faster the creatures circle, scamper, and bound, the more mixed up the words get (“A greyhog,/ a ground dog,/ a hog little hound dog”). Appelhans paints the dog and hog cavorting through an idyllic world (“Astound!” Jenkins exclaims, as they surprise a group of butterflies), and their adventure celebrates the sounds of words, the lure of rhythm, and the joy of movement. Ages 3–7. [em]Illustrator’s agent: Judith Hansen, Hansen Literary. (Jan.) [/em]