cover image My Dream Dog

My Dream Dog

Arthur Howard. Beach Lane, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-4814-5838-2

A boy shows off everything he knows about his dog, Scooter, before contemplating what the animal thinks about as he dreams. Working in watercolor, Howard (the Mr. Putter & Tabby series) uses rough, smudgy strokes of black to outline his characters; in the case of Scooter, the effect suggests a dog who’s almost always on the move. “I know what makes him wag his tail,” says the boy as arrows point to a hamburger (“people food”) and a pair of canine friends, “his pals Betty and Bruno.” It’s clear that when Scooter is awake, the brown-and-white pup has two things on the mind: food and play. But there’s no consensus regarding the dog’s dreams. The child’s father guesses that Scooter dreams about car rides, his brother proposes that Scooter “dreams of chasing things” (said things include a letter carrier, turtle, and no fewer than three squirrels), and Grandpa has the best idea of all: “Maybe Scooter dreams about you.” It’s a light, breezy story, but the joy and love the boy feels for his scruffy pet come through loud and clear. Up to age 8. (Oct.)