cover image Bonaparte


Marsha Wilson Chall, DK Publishing. DK Publishing (Dorling Kindersley), $16.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-7894-2617-8

Fresh as a newly baked croissant, this delightful confection finds a lonely pooch longing for his young master's warm lap and ""determined to find his boy"" after Jean Claude is sent off to boarding school. Sadly, ""La School d'Excellence"" has a strict policy: ""NO DOGS ALLOWED."" This doesn't deter Bonaparte, however, who sniffs out Jean Claude's trail. Halperin's (Sophie and Rose) charming pencil and watercolor panel drawings chronicle the canine's route through the breathtaking streets of Paris, with its cafs, fountains and fruit stands (one heartbreaking vignette shows the furry fellow sleeping ""on a pillow of stone"" at the foot of a statue), until he storms the school's gates. He arrives daily in a different disguise as the boy's mother, he's twigged when he offers the registrar his dog license as I.D.; as a new drummer in the high school band, his tail (which wags ""in four-quarter time"") gives him away. The day Bonaparte turns up as the new janitor, his canine talents are finally appreciated: Jean Claude is discovered missing and it's up to Bonaparte to track him down. Chall's (Rupa Raises the Sun) narrative strikes just the right balance between humor and feelings of loss in this captivating dog-loses-boy, dog-gets-boy tale. Her words together with the artwork's elaborate borders and delicately detailed drawings will waltz straight off the pages and into readers' hearts. Encore! Ages 4-8. (Sept.)