cover image Pip & Pup

Pip & Pup

Eugene Yelchin.. Holt/Godwin, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-62779-394-0

In this wordless barnyard comedy by Yelchin (Breaking Stalin's Nose), opening vignettes show a golden-yellow chick hatching out of a shell. Pip is already looking for a playmate when she spies Pup, a patient hound, lying under a tractor. Pip's first overture%E2%80%94a brisk peck on the nose%E2%80%94elicits a chase, and Pip takes cover in her old eggshell. During a sudden rain squall, the smaller half of the shell becomes a hat%E2%80%94an adorable moment%E2%80%94and Pip offers a shell hat to Pup, too. Things don't end well for the shell (Pup's a little clumsy), but a final spread offers a new toy. The pair's diminutive scale is underlined by the beefy tractor wheels that shelter Pup, and the snout of an inquiring cow. Colored-pencil and pastel rubbed over toothed paper produce areas of texture that give the spreads a warm feel. The casting of Pip as the comic and Pup as the straight man offers vaudeville-style humor for preschoolers. Over-the-top facial expressions make the emotions of the two characters easy to read; even the youngest can work out how they feel. Ages 4%E2%80%938. Agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Apr.)