In a companion to Wolf and Dog (2013), further quirky interchanges between two animal friends spark brief excursions into diverse topics from bones and dinosaurs to space travel and buried treasure.
Their personalities best described as complementary, Dog—quiet, bookish, depicted in the illustrations as a small beagle in trousers—sees his shaggy, excitable, larger companion with a big bone, learns by reading that there are much smaller bones in the ear, and wonders aloud to his literal-minded, empty-headed friend how bones are connected. Interspersed with these encounters are lots of color vignettes and larger scenes, plus passages in different colors and styles of type offering simple descriptions of bones and cartilage, multiple-choice miniquizzes, and such craft projects as making a scratchboard drawing. This mix remains a constant in subsequent chapters as they discuss mummies, knights (“Canned flesh and blood!” exclaims Wolf. “Mmm!”), and pirates, then dinosaurs and dragons, and at last outer space. Finally Wolf, all ferocious talk and wild enthusiasm, sets himself to building a “racket” to send a certain feline nemesis to the moon. Along comes Dog to set him straight on rocketry (readers will learn about Laika, Neil Armstrong, and also the meanings of “astronaut,” “cosmonaut,” and “taikonaut”) and patiently start tidying up.
A refreshingly unconventional mix of science and storytelling, of physical work and brain work. (Informational fiction. 7-10)