Two canine friends chase a butterfly in an adventurous romp.
Big, a large, shaggy black dog, and Little, an energetic, small white pup, each react to a passing butterfly differently. When Little takes off in a chase, Big follows “Behind” while Little forges “Ahead.” They go “Over” (Big) and “Under” (Little) a fence, aim their noses “Low” and “High,” and are “Timid” or “Bold” and “Loud” or “Quiet.” Deep, richly hued realistic paintings tell a fuller story than that expressed through the total text of 30 paired opposite words. Pilgrim’s detailed, actively drawn animals reflect expressive—and frequently contrasting—emotions, especially through her depictions of the dogs’ eyes. When the dogs enter a wooded area and encounter an ornery bear that is comically disturbed when the butterfly lands on its nose, the chase becomes a quick scamper home, where the two friends settle on the porch for a rest. Little sprawls “Asleep” atop Big, who stays very much “Awake” anticipating the next caper—like that squirrel….Some careful picture perusing and dialogic reading will extend the narrative beyond the original opposite concepts introduced in this almost wordless story. Big and Little’s owner is never depicted, but pictures on the wall suggest that she is a woman of color.
Few words pair with lots of humor for a delightful outing. (Picture book. 3-6)