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DOG'S FIRST BABY by Natalie Nelson


written and illustrated by Natalie Nelson ; illustrated by Natalie Nelson

Pub Date: Oct. 5th, 2021
ISBN: 978-1-68369-279-9
Publisher: Quirk Books

A story of life with a baby from the family dog’s perspective.

The narration, meted out in one or two sentences per page, presents the inner monologue of a medium-sized white dog with black patches on its fur. The pooch investigates the newest family member, a newborn baby, and compares (“You howl, I howl”) and contrasts (“You don’t even have a tail!”) himself to this strange new addition to the family. Both of them sleep, eat, stretch, and walk on all fours, but the infant’s front paws aren’t like its back paws, the dog notes, and it  doesn’t have a tail or quite smell like a canine. A grown-up with blue eyes and wavy, shoulder-length blue-black hair only intervenes when the baby tries to mount the dog like a horse. The black-eyed baby and the caregiver have medium-brown skin and stylistic pink circles on their cheeks. Nelson’s sophisticated mixed-media collage uses a distinctive palette of mustards, royal blues, and deep greens with hot pink and red accents. The dog’s confusion about this new arrival seems to last several months as the child grows from a swaddled newborn to a crawling tyke playing hide-and-seek. Despite the word baby appearing in the title, the exercise of comparing and contrasting canines and infants will make more sense to toddlers.

A playful and funny romp that will appeal to dog-owning tots.

(Board book. 1-3)