cover image SHOW DOG


Meghan McCarthy, . . Viking, $15.99 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-670-03688-2

McCarthy (George Upside Down ) plays this fast-moving tale strictly for giggles, as she compares the career of Princess, a show dog, with that of next-door-neighbor Ed, a happy-go-lucky mutt. Full-bleed spreads show Princess with mock-serious explanatory arrows pointing to her "perfect round puffy tail" and her "serious attitude"; Ed's arrows, on the other hand, point out his "drool," his "saliva-soaked ball," etc. "Okay, okay, so Ed isn't a show dog," the narrator continues. "But his family, the Hubbles, love him anyway." (Arrows point out the Hubbles' "tacky glasses" and poorly groomed hair.) When they see an ad for a dog show, advising that "only the best dogs should enter," they agree that googly-eyed Ed simply must have a turn. Scrapbook-style illustrations keep the action moving with painted photos and newspaper clippings. Predictably, Ed doesn't do so well—as soon as he gets in line in the show ring, he poops. "He can still win, right?" say the eternally sunny Hubbles. "Wrong! The judge announces the winners...." But it doesn't matter; Princess is smitten with Ed's joie de vivre. The last spread shows the Hubbles speeding off in their car with Ed, Princess and a carful of puppies. The Hubbles don't care if their ponytails are lopsided and their jewelry is plastic, and kids who feel the same way will love rooting for Ed and his slobbery heart of gold. Ages 3-up. (Jan.)