cover image Dogs of Myth: Tales from Around the World

Dogs of Myth: Tales from Around the World

Gerald Hausman, Loretta Hausman. Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing, $19.95 (96pp) ISBN 978-0-689-80696-4

Moser's (My Dog Rosie) luminous watercolors light up this anthology of 13 rarely told folktales that pay homage to canines. Grouped by type (""The Trickster Dog,"" ""The Guardian Dog,"" and so on), the stories span a wide range of cultures and breeds. From Celtic faery lore, for instance, there's an enchanted bloodhound; from the Eskimos, a husky whose absent-mindedness has cosmic consequences; and from ancient China, a devoted shar-pei who wins the hand of the emperor's daughter. An instructive afterword follows each selection, explaining its origins as well as providing additional facts about the featured dog. The Hausmans' (The Mythology of Dogs) storytelling flows in an unbroken, lyrical stream, right from the poetic introduction (""Step softly now into that fresh dawn, when a man went out for a walk in the light, and found Dog""). Moser's portraits could serve as nature studies, and whether he is depicting a massive rottweiler clenching Thor's hammer in his jaws, a sleek saluki or the soulful eyes of a curly-coated retriever, his watercolors are rooted in realism and lovingly evoked. This book is sheer bliss for dog lovers. Ages 7-up. (Nov.)