cover image If Dogs Had Wings

If Dogs Had Wings

Larry Dane Brimner. Boyds Mills Press, $14.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-1-56397-146-4

Demarest's (When Cows Come Home) watercolor illustrations virtually explode with energy and spontaneity as he depicts the sheer joy of a dog endowed with a pair of wings and thus liberated from the bonds of the earth. According to Brimner's (Merry Christmas, Old Armadillo) poetic text, winged dogs would no longer find the world ""long and low and way up high"": a street would become ""a braid decorating the land,"" and it would be within the canines' realm of possibility to ""fly to the moon to howl at the earth and chase falling stars."" Illustrations translate this fantasy in a frenzy of loose, squiggly lines and almost expressionist swaths of color; the dogs on these pages don't stand still long enough to have their outlines completely filled in. Children with a sophisticated visual sense will embrace this lyrical flight of fancy. Ages 3-6. (Sept.)