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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Pierre Le Poof! Written and illustrated by Andrea Beck. Orca Books, 2009. $19.95 ages 4 and up

"Pierre was in training for the poodle championship. Every day after breakfast he ran on the treadmill. On Tuesdays he went to the School for Show Pups, and on Thursdays he went to Poochelli's Pet Parlor for a shampoo."

Ah, my worst nightmare...and it turns out that Pierre feels the same way. He wants none of this poodle pampering. He loves Miss Murphy; but, he longs to be free to run with the other dogs, chase squirrels and do what dogs are meant to do. You knew that he would get that chance, didn't you?

Off he goes with the guys, Sparky and Lou, to explore all that he has been missing. But, it's not perfect as you might guess. He misses his owner, he's cold and hungry, scared...and lost! He's a mess when he finally decides that his old life might be just the thing for a poodle with the need for warmth, love and overindulgence. He searches high and low for his owner, finally making his way home and is welcomed with some trepidation, until his perfect training proves he belongs.

You are sure to enjoy the detailed, expressive illustrations that give life to both of the main characters. They have matching hair and hats, share the love of hearth and home, and they love to spend time together. Take time to pore over the pictures to truly enjoy the experience. Young readers will find much to discuss as you share this story.

It is suggested on the front flyleaf that this is the first tale in a new series about Pierre. Andrea Beck has had great success with her Elliot Moose stories, and now we have a new character to admire. Watch for future books about Pierre and his adventures.

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