cover image A Perfect Place for Ted

A Perfect Place for Ted

Leila Rudge. Candlewick, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-7636-6781-8

Rudge (Dog for a Day) finds low-key comedy in a dog’s search to be noticed. Ted, “a smart dog with his own sweater,” leaves his pet store to try out the circus (trained dogs leap through rings, Ted balances on a popcorn carton, no one notices him); a pet show (carefully groomed poodles pose on pillars, Ted wears a feathered headdress, no one notices him); and a junkyard (other guard dogs leap at burglar with teeth exposed, Ted jumps out, burglar doesn’t notice him). At last—and not unexpectedly—a girl on a bike who’s looking for “a furry friend” takes Ted home, where he joins a collection of furry felines. (The moment in which the 20-odd cats stare with wide-eyed horror at their new housemate is perhaps the story’s funniest, and luckily they all get along.) Gentle colors with squiggly, penciled-in details give each page tranquil charm: fancy hairstyles, flower petals, flags, and ferns fill the spreads like wallpaper patterns. It’s a quiet, small-scale story with an atmosphere that’s free of suspense. Ages 3–7. (July)