What begins as a playful game of fetch between a boy and his dog turns into a wild goose chase that springs from one page to the next in this delightful book. Young readers will find themselves caught up in the bright and charming watercolor paintings as they follow the pair on a frolicking escapade, and ultimately, to an endearing end.
DePalma (Uh-Oh!) offers a festive exercise in free association, alliteration, and onomatopoeia. Spare, gently comedic watercolors tell the story: a boy and his dog are playing fetch ("bow-wow/ wiggle-waggle/ yip-yap/ yowl!") when a cat appears ("paw-paw/ pitter-patter.../ meow!/ growl!"), and a multianimal ruckus ensues. The cat leaps over a stream, along with a frog ("Hip Hop!/ ribbet-ribbet/ splish-splish/ splash!") and scurries into shrubbery, from which a snake emerges ("Hiss! Hiss!/ slither-slither slip,/ sink slide"). The dog's enthusiasm morphs into sadness when it realizes it has lost both the boy and the cat ("sag, flag/ sniffle-snuffle/ sputter/ bawl"), but a reunion isn't far away. Set against a pleasing balance of white space and peaceful greenery, DePalma's delicate artwork is clean and fresh; the excitable, wide-eyed dog is the star of the show and exudes the most personality as it bounds after the cat, stares at a squirrel, and tumbles joyfully with its owner in the closing scene. It's a fun read-aloud, but not a quiet one: preschoolers will be easily drawn into the book's verbal energy. Ages 37. (July) 2012 Reed Business Information
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