cover image Rosie Runs

Rosie Runs

Marika Maijala, trans. from the Finnish by Mia Spangenberg. Elsewhere, $19.95 (56p) ISBN 978-1-953861-60-3

Like the other racing dogs, sleek Rosie, dressed in jersey number two, chases a mechanical hare around the track every day. The spectators enjoy the show, but it’s hard on Rosie and her companions, who move restlessly in their cages at the racetrack each night. The day after she wins a race, Rosie starts off running again, but when she gets to the finish line, she doesn’t stop. She leaps over the track fence (“The spectators gasp in wonder”) and keeps going through crowds portrayed with varying skin tones, pacing a train, barreling through a subway station, following a pink car, and soon, finding herself washed out to sea. But she’s in no danger, and when she comes ashore elsewhere, she encounters new canine companions in a place where she’s more than just a jersey number. This story by Finnish creator Maijala offers many pleasures: riveting, sustained motion; the suspense of wondering whether Rosie will be captured; and acute observations (a tethered circus pony “neighs in longing as Rosie runs by”). A series of wide-angle views roughly stroked in crayon-like colors give a mosaic feel to Rosie’s flat-out dash for freedom in this triumphant escape story. Ages 3–7. (Aug.)