cover image Good Rosie!

Good Rosie!

Kate DiCamillo, illus. by Harry Bliss. Candlewick, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-7636-8979-7

Rosie the terrier and her middle-aged owner, George, are loving companions and creatures of habit. But when Rosie sees her reflection in her empty food bowl (“The other dog never answers”), she yearns for companions of her own species. One day, George decides to visit the local dog park, and Rosie is more than a little hesitant (“Rosie does not like the dog park. There are too many dogs.”). Then she meets Fifi the Chihuahua and Maurice the Saint Bernard. Though their friendship is not without initial missteps (Rosie must overcome her innate reticence, Maurice must promise that he will not try to eat Fifi—again), it changes Rosie’s world. DiCamillo’s deep empathy for her shy, lonely protagonist will come as no surprise, but her portrayal of Rosie as genuinely puzzled by the mechanics of friendship is particularly astute. Bliss (Diary of a Worm) works in a paneled comics format, and it proves felicitous for his formal drawing style and deadpan humor. This is no shaggy dog story—it’s thoughtful and funny, and a real gift for emerging readers. Ages 5–8. Author’s and illustrator’s agent: Holly McGhee, Pippin Properties. [em](Sept.) [/em]