Spiegelman (Maus, 1986, etc.) tries his hand at a picture book--it looks and smells like a book, but it earnestly (dare one say doggedly?) assures its readers that it's actually a puppy, transformed by an annoyed wizard after a series of mishaps. Offering in evidence a pop-up tail (""How many books have tails that wag?""), fuzzy orange endpapers, and an attached fabric leash, the poor mite promises to be a special pal to readers who believe: flealess, housebroken, and willing to tell its story any time. It's a winning conceit, with ingenuous tongue-in-cheek illustrations, though, like Lane Smith's Happy Hocky Family (1993), some will find that much of the humor is pitched over the heads of its target audience.