cover image Finnegan and Fox: The Ten-Foot Cop

Finnegan and Fox: The Ten-Foot Cop

Helen L. Wilbur, illus. by John Manders. Sleeping Bear, $16.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-58536-784-9

It’s a classic New York City buddy-cop story, but one of the officers is 10 years old, weighs more than 1,200 pounds, and has four hooves. Wilbur (F Is for Friend-ship: A Quilt Alphabet) offers a lighthearted tribute to the NYPD’s Mounted Unit, with seen-it-all narration provided by a horse named Finnegan, who patrols Times Square with his partner, Tyrone Jefferson Fox. Despite some wisecracking comments (“Not everyone feels comfortable around a police officer. People can be annoying. But who doesn’t like a horse?”), it’s clear Finnegan takes his job seriously. And after a day spent greeting tourists and neighborhood regulars, he gets a chance to prove his mettle by finding a lost girl. Manders (Cowboy Christmas), working in gouache and pencil, is in fine form, capturing the energy and diversity of the city in his bustling cartoons, as well as the story’s emotional highs and lows—the shadowy blue alley that the lost girl winds up in looks truly scary, and seeing Finnegan the hero’s image on the giant signs of Times Square makes for a fittingly triumphant conclusion. Ages 6–8. (Feb.)