In this British import, a small, brown-and-white dog named Nipper zips through town to take a forgotten lunchbox to his devoted owner at the man’s shop.
An inviting portrait of Nipper on the cover shows the cheerful canine holding the handle of the red lunchbox in his mouth, with the book title scrawled on the lunchbox’s side. Nipper is devoted to his owner, Richard, who heads off to work each morning, leaving Nipper alone. When Richard leaves his lunchbox at home one day, Nipper grabs its handle and sets off on a journey through the countryside and into town, where Richard’s toy shop is located. The dog falls asleep in the store window, creating a draw for customers, and in a satisfying conclusion, Richard decides Nipper can be his partner at the store. Busy, soft-focus illustrations in a muted palette are filled with a diverse cast of characters, including people with disabilities, same-sex couples, and women in hijab. (Richard presents white.) A double-page–spread scene of the town square with Nipper lost and alone at its center is particularly interesting, with a crowd of people of every sort, from dark-skinned twins in a stroller to an elderly white lady with a walker (and, in a crowd-pleasing but rather baffling detail, several pairs of underwear).
Nipper might be just a little nipper, but he is smart and courageous, solving a problem in a resourceful way. (Picture book. 4-8)