A passel of pups play underwater at their own pool party in this simple story illustrated with high-quality photographs.
Casteel specializes in underwater photography of dogs and is best known for Underwater Dogs (2012), illustrated with his intriguing shots of dogs swimming. This volume presents a large cast of canines, both puppies and adult dogs, gathered together poolside. The short rhyming text follows the dogs as they enter the water, play with pool toys, and swim alone or in pairs. An attractive design uses blue tiles as the background for the photos, with the text set in large, easy-to-read type in white or navy blue. The photographs are clear and well-focused, with lots of action shots and close-ups of the dogs’ faces as they are swimming. Some of the dogs look happy, but several seem terrified, and there is one photo of a bug-eyed dog with mouth open and paws flailing that is downright scary. The storyline, such as it is, continues the pool-party theme as the dogs dry off after their swim, enjoying rest time in the sun. Two final pages present the “guest list” from the party, with the names and ages of the dogs next to thumbnail photos reprising the previous pages. An author’s note details the photographer’s methods in achieving his unusual photographs.
These precocious pups will appeal to a wide audience of dog lovers, including beginning readers and older readers. (Picture book. 3-10)