A pair of siblings discovers things to avoid with their new puppy.
The brown-skinned siblings—overjoyed to have a new puppy—are instructed by an unseen narrator that though puppies are generally “lovely,” there are some “simple rules” to follow in caring for one. What follows is a list of hilarious don’ts: don’t teach her to play the tuba (the pup happily sticks out of the bell of the tuba and barks); don’t take her to the library (the puppy merrily barks while one smiling child shushes her and an unimpressed adult looks on); don’t let her juggle dishes (a smiling pup balances dishes on her nose, the kitchen floor littered with broken crockery)—these are just a few. The “don’t” activities range from the everyday (chasing butterflies, going to the swimming pool, gardening) to the extreme (hang-gliding). The children and puppy are all adorable and full of joy, and the watercolor, pencil, and print illustrations capture a sense of child- and puppylike energy and glee. Even when one child appears concerned about the puppy’s antics, the other is usually laughing, and the puppy is ever jubilant. The penultimate spread is a montage of do’s that include cuddling, loving, and playing, and the ultimate spread is a touching depiction of the siblings and puppy embracing, their affection clearly evident.
It’s particularly wonderful to see black children partaking of the joys a pet brings—charming and delightful. (Picture book. 3-7)