COOPER, THE McNALLYS' BIG BLACK DOG by Nancy Winslow Parker

COOPER, THE McNALLYS' BIG BLACK DOG

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KIRKUS REVIEW

FOR SALE Black Dog. Show quality, train as guard and hunting dog. See Owner--P. McNally."" Without a word of narrative or conversation, Parker leads from the sign to the sales pitch: A description of Cooper, presented to two children by a third, who quotes ""my father"" on Cooper's good points but qualifies each statement with a disadvantage. Cooper ""is supposed to be a hunting dog,"" but he's ""too kind hearted"" (the picture shows him nuzzling ducks); he ""is protective of those he loves but his judgment is not always perfect"" (we see him barring a nursemaid [?] bearing food from the little boy's bed); and so on. But as the spiel continues we see Cooper dash off, upsetting people on the way, to save the McNally baby from a fail from its carriage. Thus, ""My father has changed his mind. Cooper is not for sale."" Both the clean, clear pictures and the deceptively bland text reflect Parker's familiar deadpan irony; but it's reduced to a formula here, where the irony itself becomes creaky and the last twist most obvious of all.

Pub Date: April 6th, 1981
Publisher: Dodd, Mead