A little boy travels around a bustling, big-city park observing dogs of many varieties before finally acquiring a dog of his own.
The title page introduces the boy who narrates the story, showing him gazing up at a red sign that orders, “Adopt a dog today!” As the boy wanders through the huge park, he follows multiple identical signs that point the way to a canine adoption center. The short, humorous text describes a diverse canine population through descriptive rhyming pairs, such as “nosy dogs, / cozy dogs” and “naughty dogs, / haughty dogs.” Stylized, computer-generated illustrations capture the antics of the happily romping canines and the eccentricities of their various owners. The main character is sometimes cleverly concealed within the illustrations of the busy park scenes, but he can always be spotted by his tuft of red hair and striped shirt. The illustrations carefully match the descriptions of the dogs, whether spotty, dotty, wrinkly or crinkly, and the bold, jazzy style perks up a story that isn’t particularly original. As always, Staake depicts skin tones of just about every color, including blue, lavender and green; the protagonist has very light brown skin.
Pleasing pups and a vibrant illustration style make this a cheery story for preschoolers or for children just beginning to read on their own. (Picture book. 3-7)