cover image Doggo and Pupper (Doggo and Pupper #1)

Doggo and Pupper (Doggo and Pupper #1)

Katherine Applegate, illus. by Charlie Alder. Macmillan/Feiwel and Friends, $9.9

Nudged by a new friend, an older dog rediscovers how to let loose in this goofy illustration-driven early reader, a series opener by Newbery Medalist Applegate (The One and Only Ivan) and Alder (Miss Mary Mack). “Girl walker,” “crumb eater,” “squirrel scolder”—Doggo leads a busy, if humdrum, life, though he sometimes misses his wild adolescence (panels show various exploits, including a freewheeling road trip). Mostly, though, he is “happy enough”—until his humans seek to add “zip and zing” to his existence. So arrives an exuberant young pooch called Pupper, who ties Doggo’s ears into knots, bounces on his belly, and keeps everyone awake with questions. When Pupper proves too rambunctious, the humans—pictured through a dog’s-eye point of view—send him to charm school. But while Pupper may be newly polite, he’s also only “happy enough” until Doggo takes charge, dragging him on a raucous adventure that meets both their needs, cementing a fabulous friendship and hinting at the antics to come. Applegate’s simple text and Alder’s comedic cartoons come together like a short animated film, just right for amusing early readers. Ages 6–9. [em](Mar.) [/em]