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Friday, August 31, 2012

Zorro Gets An Oufit, written and illustrated by Carter Goodrich. Simon & Schuster, 2012. $18.99 ages 4 and up

"Zorro was embarrassed.
He didn't want to go for a walk.

"Zorro...come on."
"Slow down, Mister Bud!

Eddie and the boys all laughed
at Zorro."

I did enjoy my first meeting with this exuberant pug, and now he's back...dealing with what any human thinking dog must feel. I mean, really, who wants to be dressed in some silly little outfit to go for walk? Who knows who might be sharing the street with you? How embarrassing!

Mister Bud and Zorro have put their differences aside and seem pleased to be going for a walk together. Up until Zorro is presented with a surprise...a new outfit. It makes him feel like ZORRO, the masked outlaw! He is reticent about venturing out looking as he does; but there appears to be no choice for him. The jeers are quick to erupt. The laughter from neighborhood dogs and alley cat Slim only makes him feel worse. 

Mister Bud does his level best to make cheer him up.  A shared stick makes no impression, and is ignored.. A sudden streak of black-eyed wonder darts across their path and Zorro is intrigued. The new visitor to their park manages to bring Zorro out of the doldrums. Guess what? Dart is also wearing an outfit, and he resembles Zorro. He is quick to note how cool Zorro looks. Confidence restored, the three spend the afternoon in racing games.

There is limited text to tell this story and that is just perfect for early readers. It won't be long until they are reading it on their own and very much enjoying that independence. It is in the illustrations that they will discover total entertainment. Carter Goodrich brings vibrant life to his canine protagonist through cleverly drawn emotions that range from abject embarrassment to renewed confidence, and everything in between. It is evident on every page just exactly how Zorro is feeling.
We are sympathetic to his every expression and delight in the joy that the day finally brings.

Hopefully we won't wait too long to have another visit!

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