cover image Walk the Dog

Walk the Dog

Bob Barner. Chronicle Books, $14.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-8118-2087-5

The author of Dem Bones and Bugs! Bugs! Bugs! collects dogs, dogs, dogs in this compendium for beginning readers. A rhythmic text presents verbs associated with canine conduct: ""Walk the dog, walk the dog/ Run, run..../ Walk the dog, walk the dog/ Sniff, sniff...."" Collages, assembled from hand-painted paper and complemented by a chunky typeface, depict and name breeds from Airedale to Zwergpinscher. An alphabetical index provides further information, including brief descriptions of the Dachshund, the humble Mutt and the exotic Xoloitzcuintli (pronounced ""show-low-eets-QUEEN-tlee""): ""This Mexican dog has almost no hair. Because of its soft warm skin, it was used to warm beds in ancient times."" Barner's descriptions rely on a foreknowledge of the breeds' specifics, yet he creates his images in an imprecise medium; Vladimir Radunsky's oversize cut-outs come to mind. In one spread, bulky paper shapes represent a wriggling Jack Russell Terrier, a Lhasa Apso wearing yellow bows and a towering white Komondor frolicking on a golf-course-green lawn. The dogs' relative size and general appearance are left to the imagination. On the other hand, this rudimentary catalogue could provide a recognition game for an afternoon at the park, where a Pug, an Old English Sheepdog or a Rottweiler is bound to come along sooner or later. Ages 4-8. (June)