What's cuter than a puppy? Puppies with children, as this book effectively demonstrates.
With basic, minimal text and appropriate illustrations, Numeroff and Munsinger lead the reader through pretty much the entire puppy repertoire—with a variety of puppy breeds and owners—from kissing and chasing a ball to digging a hole and tracking mud into the house. "Puppies can play tug-of-war, / take a bath, / and get you all wet." Also run in circles, roll over for a belly-rub, go on walks, snuggle, etc. "But best of all..." Numeroff concludes, "puppies can give you lots and lots of love." This modest and winning canine love letter is perfectly pitched to the very young and will transition well to use with emergent readers. The well-chosen type size and style help in this area, as well. From the first picture of a toddler holding out a red ball for a begging puppy to the final two-page spread of smiling children hugging their pets, Munsinger's illustrations, in watercolor, pen and ink, and pencil, capture both the cuteness and the antics of puppies. There's not an extraneous word in the story or figure in the pictures—though readers accustomed to the formula established in such works as What Grandmas Do Best/What Grandpas Do Best (2000) will wonder why there is no dos-à-dos What Kittens Do Best.
Utterly adorable. (Picture book. 3-6)