A little puppy faces some big challenges while out on a hike with its owner.
On each left-hand page, the little dog finds itself in a variety of outdoorsy binds and, on the facing page, escapes each dangerous or uncomfortable predicament. The text follows this same pattern and captions each page with one pithy line: “Too high / Big scramble // Too deep / Big swim.” When the puppy gets just too worn out to go any further, its owner reaches down to give it a pat and then allows it a “[b]ig rest” before setting out to make it to “the top // Together.” Mosz’s droll paintings in rich colors playfully capture the dog’s responses, but occasional facing-page spreads depict the pup twice, which may confuse little listeners. The sister title, Cat Comes Too, follows a similar format to depicts a kitten’s adventures in the attic with its owner. Here, the layout problems are worse. Separate scenes blur together across the spreads, and the close-ups make it hard to follow the twists and turns of the action. In one scene where the text reads “Too swingy,” it is not at all clear what the kitty is dangling from. While both pets are equally expressive, the mostly double-page spreads of the puppy’s story give the action room to breathe.
In the end, while Cat is cute enough, it’s Dog who has an interesting tale to tell. (Board book. 18 mos.-3)