New neighbors Ruby and Billy make friends fairly easily, but their dogs suffer the pangs of love in this cozy import.
Ruby’s stated dislike of boys doesn’t keep her from meeting with Billy over the fence about the strange behavior of their respective dogs, Grub and Tilly. Droopy Grub whines and just stares at his food. “Grub’s in love,” says Ruby’s mom. “He’s pining.” Likewise Tilly, who will only touch “cheese and crusty bread” according to Billy (“I think Tilly might be French,” comments Ruby parochially). A picnic provides the perfect solution: the two dogs gleefully chase each other out of sight—their trail taking the shape of a heart over the park’s green expanse—and by the time they’re back in view “Grub’s tail was wagging the most I’ve ever seen.” Ahem. Next morning Grub eats his food, digs happily in the garden, and at Ruby’s offer of another picnic, jumps on her for “the BIGGEST, messiest hug ever!” A few instances of doggy gloom aside, both the human figures and the spaniel-eared canine ones bear wispy smiles in Warburton’s vivacious watercolor scenes.
A bland episode, though likely to leave more-reflective readers wondering when the puppies will be coming along. (Picture book. 5-7)