cover image Easy to See Why

Easy to See Why

Fred Gwynne. Simon & Schuster, $14 (1pp) ISBN 978-0-671-79776-8

In this expanded, newly illustrated edition of a story previously titled Best in Show , the recently deceased Gwynne ( A Chocolate Moose for Dinner ; Pondlarker ) has parlayed his keen sense of humor (evident in his numerous acting roles) into an inventive picture book. Relying as much on Gwynne's stiff but passable ink-and-watercolor illustrations as on the bouncy rhyming text, this tale playfully looks at the age-old colloquialism about people resembling their dogs. At its center is a girl who hears about a dog show and decides to enter her pooch (whom she does not look like). Although he lacks an impressive genealogy (``He wasn't pedigreed at all; / A mutt, you'd have to say. / His only family background was / The A.S.P.C.A.''), the girl is convinced he will garner top prize. En route to the show, she meets a string of people, all of whom are dead ringers for their pure-bred dogs, and all of whom proclaim that ``it's easy to see why'' their pet will grab the blue ribbon. And who does? Suffice it to say the judge looks exactly like the girl's mutt. A joke easily shared by parents as well as preschoolers. Ages 4-7. (Aug.)