cover image Who Wants to Be a Poodle I Don't

Who Wants to Be a Poodle I Don't

Lauren Child, . . Candlewick, $16.99 (40pp) ISBN 978-0-7636-4610-3

Trixie Twinkle Toes Trot-a-Lot Delight, a white poodle, hates her “far too poodley” name—she prefers names like “Growler and Gripper and Chomper and Squasher.” She doesn't want to wear little pink ponchos and wishes her owner, Verity Brulée, would let her step in puddles like other dogs. “I want to catch sticks and roll in the mud. I want to be dangerous and daring,” Trixie tells a psychiatrist, one of several experts Verity consults (“But of course the psychiatrist could not understand her”). A brave rescue finally helps Verity understand Trixie's desires. Young readers will sympathize with Trixie and savor the details of her posh urban existence (“There was a maid to plump her pillows and a cook to prepare her nibbles and a butler to carry her over the puddles”). Child's (the Clarice Bean books) collages contain all the action Trixie's life lacks, sizzling with dizzying colors and patterns; her sentences lead adventurous lives of their own, curlicuing, shrinking, growing and spiraling into muddy puddles. Underneath the giggles, the tension between Trixie and her oblivious owner makes for a surprisingly absorbing read. Ages 4–8. (Sept.)