Lenore the black Lab befriends a cranky ram named Brutus in another entry in the popular streak of recent stories focusing on unlikely animal pals.
Katz continues to chronicle life on his farm in upstate New York with his second book for children, following Meet the Dogs of Bedlam Farm (2011). When Lenore arrives at the farm as a boisterous puppy, she tries to engage Rose, the border collie who herds the sheep of Bedlam Farm. Rose ignores Lenore, so the puppy buddies up to Brutus the ram, giving him “kisses” on his nose and following him around the farm. At first, Rose tries to intervene, but eventually she accepts Lenore as part of the farm family. Though the story anthropomorphizes the dogs and ram a bit too much, the appealing photographs clearly convey Lenore’s winning personality with some touching shots of sad puppy eyes and sweet interactions between the Lab and the ram. The intriguing subject matter, large type size and short sentence length make this suitable for beginning readers as well as younger children.
Bedlam Farm seems an idyllic spot with a natural appeal to children, who are likely to ask for more about Lenore. (author’s note) (Picture book. 4-8)