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 lovely, sometimes challenging testament to the universality of human nature.

HUMANS

The creator of the hit internet series Humans of New York takes it global, chasing down a panoply of interesting stories.

In 1955, Edward Steichen staged a show called “The Family of Man,” a gathering of photographs that emphasized the commonality of humankind. Stanton’s project seemingly has much the same ambition. “You’ve created this magic little corner of the Web where people feel safe sharing their stories—without being ridiculed, or bullied, or judged,” he writes. “These stories are only honestly shared because they have a long history of being warmly received.” The ask is the hard part: approaching a total stranger and asking him or her to tell their stories. And what stories they are. A young Frenchwoman, tearful, recounts being able to see things from the spirit world that no one else can see. “And it’s been a very lonely existence since then,” she says. A sensible teenager in St. Petersburg, Russia, relates that her friends are trying to be grown-up, smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol, whereas she wants to remain a child close to her parents: “I’d like these times to last as long as possible.” A few stories are obnoxious, as with a Dutch incel who has converted himself into a pickup artist and outright cad: “Of course it’s manipulation, but why should I care? I’ve been manipulated so many times in my life.” A great many stories, some going for several pages but most taking up just a paragraph or two, are regretful, speaking to dashed dreams and roads not taken. A surprising number recount mental illness, depression, and addiction; “I’d give anything to have a tribe,” says a beleaguered mother in Barcelona. Some are hopeful, though, such as that of an Iranian woman: “I’ve fallen in love with literature. I try to read for one or two hours every day. I only have one life to live. But in books I can live one thousand lives.”

A lovely, sometimes challenging testament to the universality of human nature.

Pub Date: Oct. 6, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-250-11429-7

Page Count: 448

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: Aug. 18, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2020

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