A friendship is formed over a game of fetch in this simple story about finding joy in the unexpected.
Puppy wants to play fetch, but everyone is busy. Cow would rather graze, bird wants to eat his worm, and pig has his mud. Dejected, the pup throws his stick away. To his surprise, it returns with another little dog who wants to play. The two canines’ enthusiasm draws the other animals back, and a group game of fetch ensues. In just six words, Pritchett’s text, combined with expressive illustrations, explores a range of emotions. Digitally colored pencil illustrations, done in a graphic style, showcase appealing characters. However; while the spreads display a good sense of proportion and use of negative space, they don’t play with composition or perspective. In every encounter, Puppy is the same size and has a similar placement on the page. Thus, the spreads begin to feel more like a stamp rather than an image that draws one in. This can work to great effect in works such as Mo Willems’ Elephant & Piggie series, in which the dialogue enhances the expressive characters. But given the extremely limited vocabulary here, readers may wish for more.
Nevertheless, brimming with enthusiasm, this playful story has a friendly, pleasant appeal. (Picture book. 2-5)