Returning a mysterious, outsized egg to its home takes a veteran canine traveler on an unexpectedly long journey.
Ludwig adds a fourth dimension to his 3-D adventures as a …Space Dog (2016) and a …Sea Dog (2017) when the egg—which is nearly as big as he is—turns out not to belong to any modern birds or reptiles. Into a mammoth tome titled The Entire History of the World he dives. After a consultation with Mary Anning (unnamed but recognizable at least to readers familiar with the history of paleontology) and quick stops in several earlier eras, he fetches up in a spooky forest to be surrounded, with the opening of a double gatefold, by huge, smiling dinosaurs. When the egg hatches, there is mommy dino, a big, green sauropod, to welcome it and to start Ludwig on his safe return with a boost back into his biblio-tunnel. Even more than in previous outings, the plot is just a pretext for the 3-D pictures. These feature cutout figures and artful shadows that seem to float even without the supplied cardboard eyewear; with it, they acquire a beguiling shimmer as well as a convincing depth of field for the flocks of birds bursting up in one scene, charging medieval knights in another, and the climactic prehistoric landscape. Ludwig has a multispecies circle of bookish friends (some literally bookish, such as a certain familiar hatter), but humans, including a set of leopard-skin–clad cave artists, are white throughout.
Thin though the plot may be, the art makes the trip well worth the time. (Novelty picture book. 6-9)