cover image Poor Louie

Poor Louie

Tony Fucile. Candlewick, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-7636-5828-1

This story of a displaced “sibling” centers on a tiny dog named Louie, the indulged pet of a young urban couple. He sits at the dinner table with them, and they buy him cute sweaters: “Yep. Life was pretty perfect with just the three of us.” Then the couple’s friends start having babies, and soon it’s supper on the floor for Louie, and name-choosing sessions (“Pablo, Packard, Patrick, Paul...”) instead of movies in bed. Mom’s stomach grows ever larger, pushing Louie to the edge of the bed; one shocking day, it even kicks him. When the couple comes home with a stroller, Louie decides that it’s time to leave. Stories like these can dip from comedy into moments of deeper emotion, but Fucile (Mitchell Goes Bowling) keeps things fizzy all the way through, and his retro ’60s-style artwork is just right for its upbeat pace. Some of the preggers jokes are pitched at adults (like the pickles and soda crackers on the table), but readers of any age can appreciate its frank yet funny treatment of the physical and emotional changes of pregnancy. Ages 3–7. Agent: Holly McGhee, Pippin Properties. (Apr.)