cover image Puppy Love

Puppy Love

Dick King-Smith. Candlewick Press (MA), $15.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-7636-0116-4

Few people can resist puppies, and certainly not King-Smith, who confesses they're his favorite baby animal. A first meeting with a tiny dachshund is described as ""puppy love at first sight""; readers will no doubt feel the same burst of affection for this winsome picture book, a fond and somewhat nostalgic look back at dogs that the author and his family have known. Part memoir, part puppy primer, the book's first-person narrative has an avuncular tone that lends an appealing warmth and directness to the text. Jeram's (Guess How Much I Love You) whimsical watercolors, vignettes as well as full-page compositions, capture the essence of puppy appeal, from their chubby bodies and oversized paws to their characteristic quizzical, wide-eyed look--her close-up of the dachshund puppy nose-to-nose with a Great Dane is priceless. For dog lovers as well as readers who hope for a puppy of their own someday, this one is a low-key gem. Ages 4-8. (Oct.)