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Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Dog and Bear, written and illustrated by Laura Vaccaro Seeger. Roaring Brook, H B Fenn, 2008. $14.95 ages 3 and up

""I am very angry with you, Bear. I am running away."
"All right, Dog. Go ahead."
"I am packing my bones."
"You do that.""

The subtitle is 'Two's Company' and indeed it can be that way for these loving friends. Once again, they have three short and delightful adventures together, proving that everything is better with two.

In the first Dog is angry and has made the decision to run away. Bear seems unconcerned, but he does have a suggestion that might hold Dog back and keep him from going. Would you stay for ice cream? In the second vignette Dog bakes a cake for Bear's birthday. It has everything that Bear loves...sprinkles, a candle. MMM! Delicious! While waiting for Bear, Dog wonders if it is as good as it looks. Oops...when he stops the candle is the only thing left. Bear is in awe that Dog has remembered his birthday with such a beautiful candle. Finally, when Dog is feeling ill, Bear offers help and Dog is quick to respond with requests for tea, a biscuit, soup, a book, slippers, pillow and a favored blanket. Before Bear is done, he is done in...and Dog must come to his rescue.

The focus in Laura Seeger's artwork are the friends and the backgrounds are left with much white space so as not to take our attention from them. They are outlined in black and colored in a bold palette leaving the reader fully aware of their importance to the tales.

What a great way to have early readers move toward early chapter books, while keeping the text manageable and vibrant. And we are on to the next.....

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