Zorro the pug and his canine pal, Mr. Bud, return for a second adventure (Say Hello to Zorro, 2011), this time focusing on Zorro and an unwanted gift of a hooded cape similar to that worn by the masked outlaw.
When Zorro’s owner puts the cape on her dog, the precocious pug hangs his head in embarrassment at being forced to wear an “outfit.” On the way to the dog park, he is teased by the dogs on the corner and by Slim the alley cat, making him feel even worse. The situation improves dramatically with the arrival of Dart, a dashing dog in a striped coat and bandana, who makes wearing an outfit seem cool. The clever story is told with a minimum of text, just a line or two per page, along with dialogue incorporated into the amusing watercolor illustrations. Zorro displays a full range of emotions, from deepest shame to gleeful pride, and Dart’s exuberant personality is quickly conveyed through his bold actions and confident demeanor. (“Hey, cool outfit! Let’s race!”) Anyone who has been forced to wear an unwanted clothing gift or who has felt embarrassed by being different will relate to Zorro’s dilemma. At the dog park or the playground, social standing is a fluid world sensitive to change and the influence of a top dog.
Mark this one "to read." (Picture book. 3-7)