cover image Lucy Rescued

Lucy Rescued

Harriet Ziefert, illus. by Barroux. Blue Apple (Random, dist.), $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-60905-187-7

“WAH-OOO-OOO-ROO!” That’s the nonstop howl that Lucy, a rescued pound puppy has been emitting since arriving in her new home—and her well-meaning adoptive family is at wits’ end. In a particularly inspired touch, Barroux shows the howling onomatopoeia literally clogging the air and piling up on the floor as the confounded humans wonder: what if there’s no cure for Lucy’s misery? what if—gasp—she has to go back to the pound? This is the fourth pairing for Barroux and Ziefert, who collaborated most recently on My Dog Thinks I’m a Genius (2011), and once again they’re hand-in-glove. With luminous, naïf watercolors (Lucy is essentially one rectangle balanced on another) and restrained prose, they effortlessly balance poignancy and comedy, making the Keatonesque Lucy as sympathetic as she is enigmatic. So skillful are they in setting the scene and building suspense that when the young narrator finally stumbles on a way to end the howling (“Lucy, I think you need a friend”), a sense of joyful relief should wash over readers, much as it does for the fictional family. Ages 4–up. (June)