cover image Wet Dog!

Wet Dog!

Elise Broach. Dial Books for Young Readers, $16.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-8037-2809-7

A flop-eared, fuzzy, \x93good old dog\x94 finds himself forever underfoot on a hot day in Broach\x92s debut picture book. For his part, Catrow (I Like Myself!) contributes ebullient spreads, from the shaggy brown fur and squinty shrouded eyes of the titular pooch to scenes that overflow with bubbles, flower petals and a dizzying cast of caricatured humans. As the mutt seeks respite from the \x93too-hot sun,\x94 readers will begin to realize what special occasion is taking shape around him. First, he basks in the spray of a hose, as a uniformed man washes his \x93long, black, shiny black car.\x94 Next, he is shooed out of his voluntary bath\x97albeit in a sink full of \x93piled-high, sticky-high pans\x94\x97by a chef protecting a five-tiered, pink cake. After these incidents (plus others involving a florist and a three-piece band), a rhythmic refrain accompanies the mutt on his next adventure: \x93Wet dog smiled his sorry-dog smile and wagged his sorry-dog tail.\x94 No one reacts kindly to his soggy shenanigans, until he arrives at the party itself. As the guests gush sweat while they dance and devour cake, the mutt shakes off once more, to the delight of an overdressed baby, whose giggles are infectious. Soon the party moves into the \x93blue-cool, oooo-cool water\x94 with a cheer of \x93Hoo-ray, wet dog! Hoo-ray!\x94 Similar cheers may resound among readers clamoring for more readings of this brightly cadenced story. Ages 4-up. (May)