Homer, a goggle-eyed, middle-size houndish-looking canine, yearns to go to Wolf Camp, a place “Where every dog can live as a wolf—for an entire week!”
Yes, a sleep-away camp for dogs. After persistent pestering, the mutt’s given permission to go. On arrival it is introduced to the counselors, enormous, sharp-nosed, shaggy wolves named Fang and Grrr. Zuill’s pen-and-ink drawings with watercolor wash perfectly conveys the dogs’, er, sorry, campers’ inner feelings, from the getting-to-know-you butt sniffs to their expressive eyes as they receive their instructions. Fang’s safety-talk speech bubble is so extensive that the text bleeds off the page. Homer, like any child in a new situation, slowly warms up to the goofy golden retriever–like Rex and the tiny gray Chihuahua Pixie, the fellow campers forming a pack that learns to hunt, howl, and sleep outside like real wolves. Although Homer has a rough start, confiding in a letter home that the “food is yucky and has hair on it” and the bugs “are gross,” when it is time to leave, the tears flow. Readers witness Homer’s return to domesticated life, as the dog curls up on a comfy round bed under a blue electric blanket. Homer is not an unchanged dog, though, but an honorary wolf with a certificate and a howl to prove it.
This debut picture book will delight more than dog lovers. (Picture book. 5-8)