cover image Puppy!


Keith Graves. Roaring Brook/Porter, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-62672-225-5

With exuberantly old-school cartooning and a wealth of sight and sound gags, Graves (Second Banana) takes readers back to a paleontologically inaccurate but very funny past to meet Trog, a cave boy who decides that a stray baby dinosaur is the puppy he’s yearned for. “Puppy” has a toothy underbite, Groucho eyebrows, and pink stripes. Trog adores him, and while the boy may have a limited vocabulary (two words is the most he can muster), he’s relentlessly upbeat about pet ownership and tireless in his efforts to make his new pet feel at home in the family cave—even when Puppy eats everything in sight and promptly poops. So why does Puppy cry all time (Graves writes “Boo hoooohoooo” in wonderfully plaintive pencil scrawls) and refuse to be consoled? Readers will probably guess long before Trog does that Puppy misses his Mommy, but they’ll still get a kick out of seeing how the homesick dinosaur and his indefatigable, putative owner try to control their own and each other’s destinies. Ages 4–8. Agent: Liza Pulitzer Voges, Eden Street Literary. (Apr.)