cover image One Pup's Up

One Pup's Up

Marsha Wilson Chall, illus. by Henry Cole, S&S/McElderry, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-14169-7960-9

Equally peppy words and pictures introduce an active litter of 10 puppies. As this counting tale opens, most snuggle with their mother, fast asleep, but "1 pup's up," and its siblings soon awaken and spring into action. The cadence of Chall's (Prairie Train) verse is as playful as the pups, as is her choice of alliterative, tongue-tripping words: "4 pups drink./ 5 puppies huddle./ 6 puppies piddle in the middle of the muddle." Cole's (Big Chickens Fly the Coop) soft watercolor and ink pictures transmit an array of recognizable puppy emotions, from their curiosity about the world around them to their mournful eyes as they "nudge" their owner for dinner. After they devour their meal, a countdown to bedtime begins ("4 pups nuzzle./ 3 puppies rest./ 2 puppies curl in a puppy muzzle nest"). The story loops full circle as the exhausted pooches sleep... until one wakes up. With its lively tone and large-scale art that, thanks to ample white space, focuses exclusively on the dogs, this is a winning choice for reading aloud at story hour or lap time. Ages 1–4. (June)