The multicolored paw prints that cover the endpapers signal the return of Murphy-Stop-That, a small, loud terrier who lives on a farm (A Day in the Life of Murphy, 2003).
When his human family (mom and daughter) goes off to the city (it’s New York), Murphy is not happy to go with them—until he gets there. They meet up with a friend and her dog, a yellow Labrador, and visit many places that Murphy finds he enjoys: a dog-friendly outdoor cafe, a dog park. But at the Doggie Boutique, Murphy runs out through an open door and is scooped up by the dog catcher. He is taken to the shelter, where his family finds him, and they go back home, where Murphy would rather be. The pictures are bright and almost folk art–like in their clear lines, flat colors, and decorative details; the route to the city is made like a board-game map with gardens, churches, factories, and fields laid out on the way. The mom and daughter in Murphy’s family are blonde Caucasians; their friend in the city is dark-skinned and -haired; the denizens of the city are of various ethnicities and, pleasingly, various ages.
For children who love their dogs, hate long car rides, and fear the new and different (until they try it), much will be comforting in this unassuming, appealing tale. (Picture book. 4-7)