cover image Roy Digs Dirt

Roy Digs Dirt

David Shannon. Blue Sky, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-338-25101-2

There’s a classic Onion headline, “Dog Experiences Best Day of His Life for 400th Consecutive Day.” One such dog is certainly Roy, a sturdy, uninhibited white pooch with black patches, pointy ears, and a gleam in his tiny eyes. Roy’s raison d’être is dirt: “Roy digs dirt.... Roy eats dirt, sniffs dirt, watches dirt, and listens to dirt,” writes Shannon (Mr. Nogginbody Gets a Hammer). The filthy hound dominates every page, wallowing in mud (“dirt gravy”), creeping through a deliciously loamy “jungle” (the garden), and defending his turf (“GET AWAY FROM MY DIRT!”). The book doesn’t hinge on any big plot point or obstacle—the biggest drama is the bath Roy has to have after encountering a skunk (baths, after all, “are the opposite of dirt”). But what this book offers is a real gift: the chance to spend time with an outsize personality whose happiness is pure, all encompassing, and seemingly without end—so long as the dirt holds out. Ages 3–5. [em](Apr.) [/em]