cover image Harry and Lulu

Harry and Lulu

Arthur Yorinks, Martin Matje. Hyperion Books, $15.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-7868-0335-4

Yorinks (Hey, Al) mines the much-visited ""Calvin and Hobbes"" vein in this tale of a toy that comes to life, but with an intercontinental twist. Lulu is a grouchy blonde girl who begs her parents for a real dog. When they present her with a plush red toy poodle substitute named Harry instead, ""Lulu went lulu.... She threw poor stuffed Harry onto the floor and kicked him and stamped her feet and banged the wall and slammed her door. Whew!"" Unsurprisingly, Lulu's bedtime is soon interrupted by a ""squeaky bark."" The temperamental urchin peers over the foot of the bed to see an animate Harry, who is not at all happy about being mistreated. Furrowing his curly brow and dramatically pointing his paw skyward, the poodle threatens to leave Lulu for his alleged home country, France. At this, Lulu races to her closet, chooses a prim red coat and green beret worthy of Ludwig Bemelmans's Madeline, and accompanies her pet on a whirlwind trip to Paris, and by the time they return home, before dawn, they are the best of friends. Matje (When It Starts to Snow), a Parisian himself, gives readers a captivating bird's-eye view of the city's monuments and buildings, drawn on a vertiginous two-dimensional grid in a delicate, controlled ink line. His intimate scenes of caf s, street corners and the algae-green Seine have powerful panache, and Lulu's attitude improves greatly in this sophisticated setting. Her transformation testifies to the magic of dogs and the City of Lights. Ages 4-7. (Mar.)