We couldn't believe our luck--one of our all-time favorite illustrators, Georg Hallensleben (And If the Moon Could Talk
), taking on Venice, one of our favorite cities, with his rich, gorgeous color palette and tangible brushstrokes. Gaspard is a black dog who loves to travel. On a Venetian vacation, he and his family visit "museums, museums, and more museums" until he happens to spot a red kayak just his size in a nearby canal. He hops in and winds his way through the canals of Venice until he collides with a "CRASH! SPLASH!" into a big black gondola. He makes a quick escape and hides in a church, but when it starts to get dark, he starts to get scared. The day is saved when a police boat finds him, he's reunited with his family, and they proceed to eat "the best spaghetti in the world." Youngsters will be pleased at the slight air of suspense and happy ending of this quick-to-read but satisfying bedtime story. Adults will revel in the warm wash of a sunny day in Venice and its familiar landmarks. (Ages 3 and older) --Karin Snelson
From School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1-This tale of a dog family vacationing in Venice is slight. Young Gaspard tires of museums, initiates an escape among the canals in a kayak, and just when he is feeling a bit afraid, is rescued by a police boat. The canines then head off for spaghetti. A bit of action (a gondola/kayak crash) and understated humor add interest. Most intriguing are the waterways that serve as streets and the thick layering of paint that captures the shimmering water and the effect of the reflected light on the buildings. The use of full-bleed double spreads, as well as three or six panels per page, varies the pace. Best viewed in an intimate setting, this small book is likely to find some fans.-Wendy Lukehart, Dauphin County Library, Harrisburg, PA
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