A black-and-white dog plays with his canine pals at a dog park, culminating in an encounter with a feisty, ball-stealing squirrel.
Percy is a bright-eyed dog of indeterminate breed, with a long, skinny tail and a black spot over one eye. He narrates the story with just a few words and a snappy attitude, using witty expressions such as “my little porkie pie” as a nickname for his beloved, special ball. (The genially archaic, repeated “What ho!” may raise more than a few eyebrows, given its unfortunate homonymic relationship to the modern slur.) Percy meets up with his three canine friends at the dog park, each having brought along a favorite toy. Molly is a standard poodle who carries a bandanna, Oatmeal Raisin Cookie is a dachshund with a Frisbee, and Fluffy is a huge, fierce-looking but gentle fellow toting a correspondingly huge bone. At the park, the dogs play together until a sassy squirrel faces off with Percy, trying to steal his ball. When the squirrel swipes Percy’s ball and then flings it from a tree, Fluffy solves the problem by leaping up to catch it. Minimalist, digitally produced illustrations use white backgrounds and a muted color palette to complement the sophisticated tone of the text. Percy’s long, pointed tail (presumably in perpetual motion) is frequently depicted as three distinct appendages; since there are no motion lines to help readers decode this, it appears that the dog is a tri-tailed anomaly.
Percy doesn’t seem to have much of a destiny beyond chasing his favorite ball, but perhaps that is the point. (Picture book. 4-7)