Ah, essence of dog. You wouldn't want to bottle it, but Kevin Henkes, creator of Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse
and illustrator Dan Yaccarino have transformed the concept into an exquisite read-aloud book for dog-loving preschoolers. We meet the two circle dogs, who live in a big, square house, early in the morning when they first wake up. They proceed to roust everyone, distribute good-morning kisses, run in the yard, and dig circle holes. "Circle dogs like circle snacks--crunch, crunch, crunch--right from your hand. They like to play. / They like to roll. / They like to eat. / And then they like to sleep and sleep and sleep and sleep." Yaccarino, creator of Zoom, Zoom, Zoom, I'm Off to the Moon
, An Octopus Followed Me Home
, and Good Night, Mr. Night
, shines in this 1950s-style, boldly graphic, shape-saturated tribute to the dachshund, or as Henkes sees it, "everydog." Preschoolers will revel in the supreme dogginess
of it all--the circling, snapping, sniffing, gulping, smacking, and face-licking--and adults will be charmed by how artfully and elegantly Henkes and Yaccarino capture the canine je ne sais quoi
in this fresh, original bedtime book. Arf! (Click to see a sample spread
. Text © 1998 by Kevin Henkes. Illustrations © 1998 by Dan Yaccarino. With permission of Greenwillow Books.) (Ages 2 to 5) --Karin Snelson
From Publishers Weekly
Henkes, who spoke to an elementary-age audience in Owen and Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse, here gets down to basics with this lively description of a day in the life of two dachshunds. The tube-shaped dogs?one rust-orange with black ears, the other vice versa (both have blue noses and collars)?form circles while they are resting. At dawn, they uncurl and greet a mother, father, little girl and baby boy ("clink-clank,... clink./ Hear their tags?/ Mrooon, mro-o-o-o-on./ They stretch and stretch and moan and yawn"). The story follows a morning-to-evening sequence of mealtimes, playtimes and naptimes, and comes full-circle, as it were, with the dogs bedded down for the night. Henkes infuses even this simplest of texts with humor: at breakfast, "Papa drops his toast./ Oops! Where did it go?/ The circle dogs know." He balances full sentences with fragments, and punctuates the story with the everyday sounds of barking, crunching and doorbell-ringing. Yaccarino's (Goodnight, Mr. Night) opaque, geometric graphics and limited gouache palette complement the concise statements. Squares and rectangles form window views inside and outside the house, and hem in the fluid shapes of the dogs and people. Author and artist judiciously repeat imagery and phrases ("Mama calls them pooches. 'Those pooches!' says Mama"); and the diversity of words and sentence structures ensure a book that runs circles around the usual primer. Ages 2-up.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.