cover image Say Hello to Zorro!

Say Hello to Zorro!

Carter Goodrich, Simon & Schuster, $15.99 (48p) ISBN 978-1-4169-3893-4

This stylish exploration of canine sibling rivalry gains from Goodrich's (The Hermit Crab) understated humor, sharp eye for the nuances of domestic relationships, and talent for painting lumpy sleeping dogs. Mister Bud—a hound of indeterminate breed with an enormous, moist snout—has something even more important than possessions. "He had his own schedule. And everybody stuck to the schedule." When a small pug named Zorro shows up at "Greet and Make a Fuss Time," backs arch and tempers rise. Goodrich's judicious use of one or two sentences per picture heightens the tension as the dogs clash. "Zorro had his own things, and he could be bossy," says one page; Zorro is in an armchair next to a ridiculous number of stuffed toys. "Mister Bud had his own things, and he could be grumpy," reads the next. Naturally the two become best friends, but don't look for childlike sincerity. Although kids may not immediately grasp the idea that Mister Bud's curmudgeonly habits symbolize the foibles that are likely to trip up human friendships, they will respond to Goodrich's polished comic timing. Ages 4–8. (Mar.)