cover image Old Dog Baby Baby

Old Dog Baby Baby

Julie Fogliano, illus. by Chris Raschka. Roaring Brook/Porter, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-59643-853-8

A shaggy dog, gray and white with a spot over one eye, is snoozing on the kitchen floor. “Old dog dreams/ old dog twitches,” writes Fogliano (When Green Becomes Tomatoes). “Old paw scratches/ old ear itches.” In crawls a towheaded baby with bright pink cheeks, who throws back its head in delight when the dog proffers a sloppy kiss. They settle down for a co-nap, “old dog/ baby baby/ dreaming on the/ kitchen floor.” There’s another story underway, as well: the baby and dog are observed by an older sibling, who has been looking at photographs of the dog’s puppyhood. Two women appear on the margins of the scenes, and a photograph reveals that all the characters are a family. Raschka’s (The Death of the Hat) watercolor images—with their soft textures, intimate framings, and big, gentle shapes—have just the right mix of joy and melancholy. We can’t stop the passage of time, Fogliano and Raschka seem to say, but we are fortunate in our loving relationships, each transcendent in its own way. Ages 2–6. [em]Author’s agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. Illustrator’s agent: Brenda Bowen, Sanford J. Greenburger Associates. (Oct.) [/em]