cover image Chester, the Out-Of-Work Dog

Chester, the Out-Of-Work Dog

Marilyn Singer. Henry Holt & Company, $15.95 (1pp) ISBN 978-0-8050-1828-8

A working sheepdog becomes a fish out of water when he moves from the farm to the city. Chester loved spending his days rounding up sheep on the Wippenhoopers' farm, and the calm quiet of country evenings there. But when the Wippenhoopers trade their rural existence for an urban apartment life, Chester feels lost--``his paws hurt too much from the concrete,'' and he hates being unemployed. The resourceful canine finds surrogate flocks to herd--pigeons, squirrels, delivery men--much to the family's chagrin. As a last resort, Chester decides to flee back to the country when he spies an odd bunch of sheep (school children in costume) desperately in need of direction. Singer's slightly daffy but heartfelt story runs the gamut of emotions; Chester's feelings of anxiety and uselessness are easy to identify with. Bowman's ( Good Night, Feet; the Max Malone books) loose, bubbly watercolors convey wackiness and warmth. Her portraits of the toothy Wippenhooper clan and the ovine-outfitted kids are particularly memorable. Ages 4-8. (Oct.)