cover image My Town Wegman

My Town Wegman

William Wegman. Hyperion Books, $16.95 (40pp) ISBN 978-0-7868-0410-8

Photogenic weimaraner Chip, who played a big-city naif in Wegman's Farm Days, helps send up small-town life in this affectionately campy salute. Via captions, voice bubbles and rectangular color photos (layered like comic book panels), readers learn that Chip needs a topic for a school assignment. Worried, Chip visits local teachers, shop owners and law- enforcers to ask for help. As he makes his rounds, he takes snapshots and finally solves his homework dilemma by creating a visual rather than written report. As Wegman's readers expect, Chip's cooperative subjects are weimaraners, like him adopting human attire and mostly bipedal poses. Each spread is devoted to a neighborhood fixture: handsome Fire Chief Chundo, helmet in arm (""Sure [you can take my picture]. But hurry. Big fire down at the donut shop!""); lively Barry the Beautician, who coifs Chip's hair and tends to the pink curlers of Town Gossip Gladiola Battie. By now, Wegman's bewigged dogs with human hands no longer seem all that unusual. But there's still abundant energy in Wegman's pun-happy humor, the innovative graphic novel-style book design and especially the expressive canine ensemble. Chip's a regular Jimmy Stewart with a pedigree. All ages. (Oct.)