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Dog    by Matthew Van Fleet & Brian Stanton order for
by Matthew Van Fleet
Order:  USA  Can
Simon & Schuster, 2007 (2007)
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Matthew Van Fleet's Dog is sweet and simple in its rhymes, engaging in its canine photography (of a variety of breeds taken by Brian Stanton) and enticing in its clever construction. Small fingers can stroke different textures of doggy coats, tails, ears, and tongue. They will want to keep pulling the tabs that make puppies scratch, wag their tails, and even release a yellow jet under a raised leg.

It begins, 'Fluffy dog, / Scruffy dog, / Droopy dog sags, / Perky little puppy dog - wag, wag, wag!' I expect little ones will resonate more with the bad dog than the good, and with the sloppy pup rather than the neat eater. But they'll adore the variety of hounds that gaze back at the reader with soulful eyes, and furry bodies ready to spring into mischief or play.

At the back of this amazing book for fans of man's best friend is a fold-out spread, portraying twenty doggy breeds, lazing around under a tree. Lift that arboreal foliage and what do we find? Kitty, the Calico Cat, of course (looking wary and who could blame her?) Kids will delight in picking their favorite pups, stroking them, and pulling the tabs to see what they do.

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