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THE OTHER DOG by Madeleine L'Engle

THE OTHER DOG

By Madeleine L'Engle (Author) , Christine Davenier (Illustrator)

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: March 1st, 2001
ISBN: 1-58717-040-X
Publisher: SeaStar/North-South

Consequences attendant upon the arrival of a new member of the household, told from the perspective of a superior poodle, from the usually more sedate Newbery winner. Touché L'Engle-Franklin is unsettled—and miffed—when a baby, a human baby, makes an appearance at her house. Touché sees Jo as a rival: "One dog is enough for any family. I fail to see why I did not satisfy all requirements." Touché is, after all, bright and witty and obedient and knock-you-dead gorgeous, if she does say so herself. And this new beast, why, it doesn't even have a tail, let alone enough hair. It wears diapers, for goodness sake. But Jo grows at an alarming clip and soon enough is paying attention to Touché, an "encouraging sign of intelligence." That she likes. Indeed, she comes to the conclusion, the "unpredictable, surprising, amazing, astonishing, astounding conclusion: in every home there should be at least two dogs!" Sibling rivalry should always be so handled, minus all that messy rancor and physicality. Davenier's (Iris and Walter, 2000, etc.) watery, wiggly colors create the perfect old-fashioned look that this remembrance requires. And L'Engle's author's note and original pictures introduce the real poodle who inspired the story. Touché indeed. (Picture book. 4-8)