cover image I Want 100 Dogs

I Want 100 Dogs

Stacy McAnulty, illus. by Claire Keane. Chronicle, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-7972-1440-5

The titular announcement—“I want 100 dogs”—is made by a curly headed, gap-toothed child to their two adults while the three gaze up at clouds that resemble canines. In the following pages, the child conjures up idyllic visions of this arrangement, while the adults manage to both acknowledge the youth’s desire and counter with gentle pragmatism: “That sounds fun. But where would 100 dogs sleep?” The child continues the “I want” statements (obligingly decreasing the number of dogs by 10 on each spread), which are accompanied by dual visualizations of each scenario. From the child’s perspective, bathing looks like a large swimming pool filled with 80 canines; from an adult’s, it’s a tiny backyard kiddie pool filled to bursting. Watercolor-and-ink-style digital illustrations from Keane (Make Way) have a lovely, fluid quality and are a hoot to boot, imbuing each wished-for dog with a vivid personality. The battle of wills is further underscored by astute dialogue from McAnulty (The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl), and the final scenes show a happy resolution for all concerned, one that seems to imply the presence of a successful long con. Human characters are portrayed with pink skin. Ages 3–5. Author’s agent: Lori Kilkelly, LK Literary. Illustrator’s agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Oct.)