Dog vs. Strawberry

Random House Studio. Apr. 2024. 40p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780593643129.
PreS-Gr 3–Readers, start your engines! When an excitable pup decides that racing a strawberry might be even more fun than eating one, action ensues. This picture book comes roaring off the page narrated with pitch-perfect sportscaster gravitas. Thrill to the sight of an imaginative dog who is convinced that the strawberry (generously described as “impassive”) is gaining on her! Flinch as the dog proceeds to mow down everything in her path! A love letter to the canine phenomenon sometimes referred to as “the zoomies,” Buchet’s book is short and thrilling enough to suit a preschool story hour, but would also make a crowd-pleasing read-aloud for early elementary classrooms. The author has nailed the dramatic tone of televised sports while the accompanying visuals, fabulous ink drawings, manage to be rich yet spare, pleasantly wonky, enhancing but never distracting from the content. The lean text features some impressive vocabulary that makes this book stand out. The dog, a sausage-y mutt, displays a wide range of emotions and postures, from proud to befuddled to tuckered out. Her rambunctious, oblivious sweetness permeates every page; children will root for her victory or at least her shot at a nap.
VERDICT Everyone’s a winner in this fast-paced match between canine and fruit, recommended for both public and school libraries.

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