cover image The Doggy Book

The Doggy Book

Sara Fanelli. Running Press Book Publishers, $14.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-7624-0345-5

In this winningly idiosyncratic book, mixed media artwork creates a visual circus with more dogs than the Westminster dog show. The spreads cover such themes as ""Tails,"" showcasing the appendages of basenji, bloodhound and husky, and ""Dogs of the World,"" in which a Vespa-riding Italian cane barks ""Bau Bau."" In her collages, Fanelli (Wolf) sticks human eyes on dog faces and fashions an Arabic manuscript into an Afghan hound; musical scores, graph paper and stamped pictures add further textural layers to the depictions of canines and their bones. Tiny cartoon drawings enliven in-between spaces. One spread opposes ""Holy Dog"" and ""Devil's Dog"": a St. Bernard rescue dog (with minuscule angel dogs ringing its halo) and three-headed, flame-breathing Cerberus. This book also is a doggy: that is, a head, ears, legs and a tail fold out of its covers to transform the volume into a rather oddly-proportioned pooch in a red plaid coat. For readers who love dogs, their accessories and the most whimsical of artwork, this book is made in doggy heaven. All ages. (Oct.)