A LITTLE DOG LIKE YOU
After Pippin, a beloved Chihuahua, dies, he begs St. Francis to let him go back to his beloved mistress, Mammie--who, hoping that her faithful friend will return, manages to puzzle out the time and place of their joyful reunion. Though the plot sounds trite, Sutcliff's skillful pen turns the story to gold--an unsentimental portrait of an affectionate bond that will be familiar to any dog lover, while the difficulty posed by the painful discrepancy between the life spans of dog and human is resolved with a reincarnation that is both metaphorical and realistic: the new dog is not precisely Pippin--he has new markings and is given a new name--but he does represent a continuation of love. The format is as engaginly diminutive (4(apple)" x 7") as Pippin himself; Johnson's precise, gentle b&w illustrations add just the right touch. A well-wrought charmer.