cover image Little White Dog: Little White Dog, the

Little White Dog: Little White Dog, the

Dan Yaccarino, Laura Godwin. Hyperion Books, $14.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-7868-0297-5

Camouflaged by snow, Little White Dog is hard to detect: only pointy extremities sticking out from a white field, plus a coal-black eye and nose, indicate his presence. The flat, highly stylized forms of Yaccarino's (Good Night, Mr. Night) gouache paintings conceal even more than the color does: Little Blue Bird's wings take up almost the whole sky; Little Green Bug looks like a bumpy, raised mole's tunnel in the grass (none of these creatures looks particularly ""little""). Unfortunately, Godwin leaves some narrative holes. After a series of animals has been shown in this veiled way, the reader is told to ""Turn on the light!"" Yaccarino pictures an anonymous hand turning on a flashlight to reveal Little Black Cat (previously ""hidden"" against the black sky), ""who went to find.../ Little Yellow Chick,/ who went to find.../ Little Brown Horse,"" etc., all the way back to Little White Dog. The chain of hide-and-seek involves sudden changes from night to day, from snow to green grass, and other leaps of logic. Perhaps the very young will enjoy the visual riddles here; the textual framework, however, may be too loosely constructed for some readers. Ages 2-5. (May)