Take one playful dog, add a red ball, and the result is mischief.
A blond boy in a striped shirt and white tennies tells his woeful but hilarious tale, which begins when he encounters an eager mutt with a little red ball in its mouth: "If only...I hadn't met that dog...." The duo plays a bit, then the ball bounces down a hill and into a gang of stray cats being fed by a kindly old lady in a funny hat. The unsettled cats frighten a flock of birds, who disrupt a parade of uniformed horsemen. Both mounts and men take a tumble, and worst of all, they upset the Queen in her carriage. The dog continues to chase the ball past sentries and servants and into the palace, wrecking carpets and a birthday cake and "lots of fancy stuff." The dog returns the ball to the little boy, and the whole mess is caught on camera and telecast around the "WHOLE WIDE WORLD." The boy's cheeks turn red with embarrassment. If only he’d stayed home….But if he had stayed home that day, he'd never have met this great dog! Foreman's minimal text sometimes tumbles and dances across the page, and his watercolor-and-pastel illustrations capture both motion and dumbstruck faces hilariously.
A blithe romp. (Picture book. 3-6)