cover image Dogs Don't Wear Sneakers

Dogs Don't Wear Sneakers

Laura Joffe Numeroff. Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing, $15 (40pp) ISBN 978-0-671-79525-2

Despite the catchy canine title, Numeroff and Mathieu's picture book is not about Man's Best Friends. Rather, the author and illustrator work together to pull off what could be the antithesis of a nonsense rhyme--a verse that derives its kid-appeal by its apparent sensibleness. But as the text intones various truths (``Dogs don't wear sneakers / And pigs don't wear hats / And dresses look silly / On Siamese cats), the illustrations serve up irreverent contradictions: a pack of well-shod pooches prances its way through a ``Dog Days Marathon''; the aforesaid pigs and cats don lavish costumes for a production of ``The Pigs of Penzance.'' One particularly frolicsome scene (``Fish don't eat bagels'') shows a pair of hatted fish perched on stools at an underwater diner, one in the process of ``schmearing'' his bagel. Mathieu's exuberant art sets off Numeroff's neatly veiled silliness. Good goofy fun. Ages 3-6. (Aug.)