cover image Don’t Eat Bees (Life Lessons from Chip the Dog #1)

Don’t Eat Bees (Life Lessons from Chip the Dog #1)

Dev Petty, illus. by Mike Boldt. Doubleday, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-593-43312-6

Chip, a white hound with a brown fur patch over one eye and a long, boopable snout, is a fount of knowledge—most of which, as conveyed by the previous collaborators (I Don’t Want to Be a Frog), “involves what to eat and what not to eat.” Actually, bees are the only item on the “don’t” list, oft repeated to comic effect. The litany of “do”s, on the other hand, includes unwanted food that Chip’s young light-skinned owner slips under the table (“Yes, peas, no bees”), Grandpa’s dentures, and cat food (“Who’s a dumb dog NOW, Mittens,” writes Petty, channeling the canine narrator’s snarl at a feline nemesis). Boldt’s signature sculptural dimensionality and flair for goofy expressions give readers much to savor in this character study masquerading as a handbook. En route to a sudden wrap-up, one vignette (“Do: Eat important papers!”) shows that dogs not only eat homework but do so with elan: a blissed-out Chip floats across the spread like a parade balloon as notebooks, papers, a backpack, and school supplies swirl in the air. Ages 3–7. Agent (for Petty and Boldt): Jen Rofé, Andrea Brown Literary. (May)