cover image Dog and Rabbit

Dog and Rabbit

Barney Saltzberg. Charlesbridge, $14.99 (48p) ISBN 978-1-62354-107-1

Saltzberg (Crazy Hair Day) handily captures the difficulty of making a friend—even one that’s right around the corner—in this brief interlude. Though “Dog was fine being alone,” he sometimes wishes for someone to walk with; though “Rabbit was fine being alone,” he sometimes wishes for another. “How hard can it be to find a friend?” they both wonder, looking up at the sky. When Dog sees Rabbit peering into his own house, he thinks “the bunny would be a nice friend.” But Rabbit is so distracted by the potential pal he sees hanging out on Dog’s refrigerator (readers will recognize that it’s a magnet) that Rabbit jumps away every time Dog offers a smile. Undeterred, both continue to moon over their targets, until Dog invites Rabbit in and reveals himself to be a friend worth waiting for. Repetition features heavily throughout, connecting the animals’ experiences; though window peepers may not always prove to be friendship material, Saltzberg’s reprised phrases and art, in smudgy greens and blues, are likely to reassure young readers feeling uncertain about making a new acquaintance. Ages 3–7. (Oct.)