cover image Pippo: A Little Dog Finds a Home

Pippo: A Little Dog Finds a Home

Annette Langen. Abbeville Press, $12.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-7892-0071-6

This maudlin account of an abandoned puppy taken in by a loving family is a tale only a sentimentalist could love. Pippo, as the pup is known, tells of being snatched rudely from his mother and given as a present to a boy, mistreated (""`Come here--now!' meant it was finally time to take a walk outside''), being left in the wintry woods (``they threw a little stick.... but when I returned proudly with the stick clenched in my teeth, I was completely alone'') and eventually rescued by kindhearted folks who take him into their ``people-kennel.'' Life improves immeasurably for the grateful Pippo, who earnestly describes how ``I look after my family.'' Watercolors depict Pippo (allegedly a dachshund) as a generic pup; Pippo's pudgy body and bulbous feet may be stuffed-animal cute, but they're indistinct compared to the more realistic sketches of people. Four wan foldouts, including one of a miserable Pippo at the bottom of the mean family's cellar stairs, halfheartedly court the pop-up book audience. Ages 4-8. (Nov.)