A French bulldog named Toby adjusts to the arrival of a new dog, a female named Pinkie, and the pair quickly become best friends.
Toby is a sedate, rusty-orange dog who has his favorite spots in his house, all denoting warmth and safety. He loves his special patch of sunlight on the carpet and the warm lap of his owner, a white teenager who likes to read. When Pinkie (with distinctive pink ears) arrives on the scene, she immediately takes over the house, leaving Toby displaced and depressed. He slinks down to the basement to hide in a corner, but Pinkie follows him, and her concern leads to a quick rapprochement, with the two dogs suddenly pals for life. Pinkie’s approach to Toby—she sidles up “against his rump”—may set off some questions or giggles, with its focus on dog rear ends. The metaphor of their canine companionship as the new sunshine in Toby’s life will likely go over the heads of the intended audience. Watercolor illustrations once Pinkie arrives have a rather dark, foreboding air to contrast with the sun and light elements, and the dogs often seem posed and static.
The McMullans have won legions of fans with I Stink! (2002) and its sequels, but their dog characters fail to exert the same snappy appeal. (Picture book. 3-7)