cover image Every Dog in the Neighborhood

Every Dog in the Neighborhood

Philip C. Stead, illus. by Matthew Cordell. Holiday House/Porter, $18.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-8234-4427-4

Grandma knows it’s going to rain; “I can feel it in my knees,” she says, directing her shaggy-haired grandchild Louis to grab a raincoat for a walk through their neighborhood. Soon, rain starts pelting down, and everyone around them dashes for cover. “Grandma knows everything,” Louis says serenely. Their outing prompts letters to City Hall, Grandma’s banged out on an old typewriter, Louis’s handwritten on notebook paper. As Grandma sets about realizing a plan for a nearby vacant lot, Louis heads out with a clipboard to survey the neighborhood’s dogs. Previous collaborators Stead and Cordell (Follow That Frog) turn to real-world portraiture, spotlighting the racially diverse neighborhood’s dog owners—and each pooch—in affectionate cameos. Cordell’s scribbly ink and wash vignettes capture scenes of Louis meeting dogs with names such as Thelonious and Monk, while a trio named Moose, Goose, and Caboose is introduced by a girl who speaks through a mail slot (“Caboose is always leading the way,” she adds). Though Louis does their own legwork, it’s Grandma’s brisk sense of community care—revealed in the white-presenting duo’s projects—that brings a small-town intimacy to this volume’s city inhabitants. Ages 4–8. Author’s agent: Emily van Beek, Folio Literary. Illustrator’s agent: Rosemary Stimola, Stimola Literary Studio. (June)