A pair of easy readers about a small boy and his very large dog, Mudge, who grows through seven collars before attaining his full 180 pounds. The first book has the familiar plot: lonely boy gets dog, dog is lost, dog is found; but any dog- or boy-lover will chuckle over this pair. Rylant presents such realistic detail as Mudge drooling, loving dirty socks, and sleeping in Henry's bed in deceptively simple prose--easy to read but vividly evocative. The second book includes three events that take place in the spring: Mudge eats the first blossom, which Henry and his mother had carefully not picked, but is forgiven because it was "". . . just a thing to let grow. And if someone ate it, it was just a thing to let go""; Henry's father decides to jump into a glorious big puddle with Henry and Mudge instead of scolding them; and in the third story, Mudge adopts a litter of kittens. New illustrator Stevenson's delicately colored cartoon-like drawings are just right, capturing the affection and humor of the text. Warm, loving, and gently philosophical, these stories about an only child and his closest companion deserve a place in every library collection. Three more books are projected in the series.