A little girl finds out how much she has in common with her new puppy.
A squat brown-skinned tot, with springy brown ringlets—to match her basset hound’s floppy ears—is presented with a new puppy. “I got a new friend,” the narrator declares. Is the girl or the puppy telling this story? It very well could be either. “She’s kind of shy” (both the gal and the pup peer timidly at each other), “…but she got used to me” (now both are all smiles). She can be naughty, messy, even stinky (requisite bathroom scene for storytime giggles), but she always needs lots of kisses. The cheerfully ingenuous text places the two in a comfortable, middle-class setting: there is a yard to play in, an easy chair to plant muddy foot- and pawprints on, and a sturdy yellow bed to jump on. Edwards’ figures have the lovable solidity of Charles Schulz’s, the girl with a round, slightly outsized head and both with infectious smiles. In the end, Edwards seems to clear up all narratorial ambiguity: “She can be a lot of work, but I love her. / She’s my little girl!” (Both the girl and pup are entangled in a hug.) But of course, the puppy could be a girl, too. One will never know—but discussion possibilities abound. A spread of further friendship tips appears on the rear endpapers. The book seems set up to explore a new pet relationship, yet it works on any friendship level and perhaps even a new-sibling introduction.
Totally, infectiously ebullient. (Picture book. 3-6)