In a ""Stepping Stone"" book about kids in a typical suburban neighborhood, Ryan's parents finally get him a dog--just in time for the neighborhood pet show. Ryan does his best to make his new toy-poodle puppy live up to his preconceptions, giving him a big-dog name, trying to get him to chase rabbits, and feeding him gargantuan meals; meanwhile, friend Cassie, who points out that Brutus is adorable, has fun teaching him tricks. At the pet show, everyone else's pet is predictably wayward or unruly, while Brutus makes a hit and Ryan finally admits that his dog's best trick is giving kisses. Unexceptional but pleasantly realistic. Dann's drawings are sprightly, though (except on the jacket) she makes Brutus too big to fit into Dad's pocket as described in the text.