cover image Fu-Dog


Rumer Godden. Viking Children's Books, $14.95 (64pp) ISBN 978-0-670-82300-0

As exotic as spice from the Orient and as British as afternoon tea, Godden's story of the Fu-dog celebrates hope, love and a child's imagination. With the gift of a satin toy dog, Li-la's Great Uncle sets in motion the events that will eventually reconcile the two halves of the seven-year-old's family in London's Chinatown. Only Li-la can hear the Fu-dog speak--until she journeys to London where her skeptical brother Malcolm is injured, the Fu-dog is lost and all is resolved by the children's mysterious uncle who restores Fu-dog to Li-la in the form of a ``real'' Peking puppy. Images echo like the voice of the Fu-dog in Godden's ( The Story of Holly and Ivy ) affectingly told and neatly plotted narrative. The story is central in this 64-page, six-chapter novella, but seems well suited to the picture book format in which Littlewood's vibrant full-color illustrations and artful blue line drawings enhance but never overshadow the text. Ages 5-8. (May)