Emerson Barks

illus. by Liza Woodruff. 32p. Holt. Aug. 2016. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781627791670.
K-Gr 3—Emerson is a little dog with a big bark. When his loud sounds scare the neighbor cat Kissy into hiding, crotchety Miss Cross has words with his girl Eva. In a hasty decision, Eva bans the pup from barking altogether. The shaggy-eared mutt tries his best to comply with the drastic orders. When he spies a squirrel, he coughs a tepid "AR-ahem," and when the mailman arrives, he gulps in another bark. After swallowing his loud voice and feeling miserable, Emerson embraces his booming barks and saves the day. Woodruff's digitally created illustrations have funny details like a "Woof" welcome mat and rubber chicken chew toys.
VERDICT Emerson's enthusiasm and good intentions will have readers rooting for him. A fun read-aloud for storytimes and small group sharing.

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