A cute, fun frolic for tail-wagging fans.

DOGVERSATIONS

CONVERSATIONS WITH MY DOGS

In this debut compilation of humorous conversations and colorful photographs, three adorable dogs say the darnedest things.

What canine lover hasn’t imagined what a dog would say if it could speak? Leswick, a photographer and family man, has always talked to his dogs. But after a smart but mischievous Brittany spaniel pup named Eva joined his family, he felt like he could read her mind. So, over time, he began sharing their conversations on the internet. When Eva was 2 years old, Bruno—a happy-go-lucky golden retriever—joined the family chats. Most recently, Agnes, a rescue pup of unknown lineage, came along to liven things up even more. Deciding that he needed to put his dogs’ adorable photos—and antics—in book form, the author assembled this fun-filled, browsable collection. Cuter than the cutest Facebook memes—Bruno wears underwear on his head because he’s a Jedi, and Agnes looks sweet even when she’s caught ripping a toy to shreds—Leswick’s canine photos are accompanied by “dogversations” he or other family members have had with the pups. There are no chapters in this slender beauty, but relatively short conversations have titles—for example, in “Laundry,” the author finds Eva lounging on the humans’ clean clothes. Easy to read and comprehend (names are followed by colons to denote who’s speaking), these simple exchanges are squeaky clean and appropriate for the entire family. Lighthearted human-animal misunderstandings take center stage in several of the animals’ pithy quips. For example, in “The Great Flip-Flop Debate,” Bruno says the humans’ rubber sandals are meant to be chewed because flip-flop is a yummy-sounding name. Sometimes the situations are seasonal; for example, the dogs sing Christmas carols, and on Halloween, Bruno dresses like a ghost. But the family’s favorite season seems to be summer, and there are some lively scenes of the pooches in action at the lake.

A cute, fun frolic for tail-wagging fans.

Pub Date: March 26, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5255-5157-4

Page Count: 144

Publisher: FriesenPress

Review Posted Online: April 30, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2020

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A virtuoso performance and an ode to an undervalued medium created by two talented artists.

A WEALTH OF PIGEONS

A CARTOON COLLECTION

The veteran actor, comedian, and banjo player teams up with the acclaimed illustrator to create a unique book of cartoons that communicates their personalities.

Martin, also a prolific author, has always been intrigued by the cartoons strewn throughout the pages of the New Yorker. So when he was presented with the opportunity to work with Bliss, who has been a staff cartoonist at the magazine since 1997, he seized the moment. “The idea of a one-panel image with or without a caption mystified me,” he writes. “I felt like, yeah, sometimes I’m funny, but there are these other weird freaks who are actually funny.” Once the duo agreed to work together, they established their creative process, which consisted of working forward and backward: “Forwards was me conceiving of several cartoon images and captions, and Harry would select his favorites; backwards was Harry sending me sketched or fully drawn cartoons for dialogue or banners.” Sometimes, he writes, “the perfect joke occurs two seconds before deadline.” There are several cartoons depicting this method, including a humorous multipanel piece highlighting their first meeting called “They Meet,” in which Martin thinks to himself, “He’ll never be able to translate my delicate and finely honed droll notions.” In the next panel, Bliss thinks, “I’m sure he won’t understand that the comic art form is way more subtle than his blunt-force humor.” The team collaborated for a year and created 150 cartoons featuring an array of topics, “from dogs and cats to outer space and art museums.” A witty creation of a bovine family sitting down to a gourmet meal and one of Dumbo getting his comeuppance highlight the duo’s comedic talent. What also makes this project successful is the team’s keen understanding of human behavior as viewed through their unconventional comedic minds.

A virtuoso performance and an ode to an undervalued medium created by two talented artists.

Pub Date: Nov. 17, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-250-26289-9

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Celadon Books

Review Posted Online: Aug. 31, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2020

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A wondrous mix of races, ages, genders, and social classes, and on virtually every page is a surprise.

HUMANS OF NEW YORK

STORIES

Photographer and author Stanton returns with a companion volume to Humans of New York (2013), this one with similarly affecting photographs of New Yorkers but also with some tales from his subjects’ mouths.

Readers of the first volume—and followers of the related site on Facebook and elsewhere—will feel immediately at home. The author has continued to photograph the human zoo: folks out in the streets and in the parks, in moods ranging from parade-happy to deep despair. He includes one running feature—“Today in Microfashion,” which shows images of little children dressed up in various arresting ways. He also provides some juxtapositions, images and/or stories that are related somehow. These range from surprising to forced to barely tolerable. One shows a man with a cat on his head and a woman with a large flowered headpiece, another a construction worker proud of his body and, on the facing page, a man in a wheelchair. The emotions course along the entire continuum of human passion: love, broken love, elation, depression, playfulness, argumentativeness, madness, arrogance, humility, pride, frustration, and confusion. We see varieties of the human costume, as well, from formalwear to homeless-wear. A few celebrities appear, President Barack Obama among them. The “stories” range from single-sentence comments and quips and complaints to more lengthy tales (none longer than a couple of pages). People talk about abusive parents, exes, struggles to succeed, addiction and recovery, dramatic failures, and lifelong happiness. Some deliver minirants (a neuroscientist is especially curmudgeonly), and the children often provide the most (often unintended) humor. One little boy with a fishing pole talks about a monster fish. Toward the end, the images seem to lead us toward hope. But then…a final photograph turns the light out once again.

A wondrous mix of races, ages, genders, and social classes, and on virtually every page is a surprise.

Pub Date: Oct. 13, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-250-05890-4

Page Count: 432

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2015

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