cover image Murphy Meets Paris

Murphy Meets Paris

Harriet Ziefert, Emily Bolam Zeifert, Emily Bolam, , illus. by Emily Bolam. . Blue Apple (Chronicle, dist.), $15.95 (40pp) ISBN 978-1-59354-066-1

In this playful if uneven picture book, a young woman from Boston and her yellow Lab embark for the City of Light, where a special "Heavenly Pets" hotel package assures top-dog treatment for four-legged guests. From his bed, "custom-covered in violet fake fur," to an elegant room-service breakfast prepared by the hotel chef, Murphy lives the vacation high life. Sightseeing, shopping and people- (and dog-) watching at a café also rank high on the Parisian menu. Though Ziefert's energetic text pokes fun at the extravagance of a pet-centric hotel, kids may not get the joke; the idea of such pricey puppy perks, while a reality for some, is beyond the realm of most young readers' experience. The end result here is a bit of a mish-mosh; aside from a foray into the Luxembourg Gardens and a patisserie, the Paris setting is almost an afterthought, with text and art offering only minimal detail about the city. Bolam's (Bearobics ) pencil-and-watercolor scenes possess a certain joie de vivre, and occasionally suggest the flair of the French capital. However, a number of other recent volumes deliver pets-in-Paris tales with more punch. Ages 4-8. (Apr.)