I Got a New Friend

illus. by Karl Newsom Edwards. 32p. ebook available. Knopf. May 2017. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780399557002.
PreS-Gr 1—A little girl and a tiny puppy make friends in this sweet picture book about adopting a pet. Though girl and dog are initially a little nervous, they quickly bond. The concise, cheery text, told in first person and presented in a large font ("She gets lost…and found! Sometimes she gets dirty and needs a bath."), gently explains what to expect when a newcomer joins the household: lots of playtime, a little mess, and plenty of hugs and kisses—in short, a lot of work but just as many rewards. The ending contains a bit of a twist (hint: readers may be surprised to discover who's narrating); many spreads will provoke giggles upon rereads. Rendered in pencil and watercolor and digitally refined, the illustrations are cartoonlike and sweet, though never cloying, with copious white space. With thick black outlines and a simple palette, the images have an appealing solidity to them. The curly-haired, brown-skinned little girl and the large-eared, spotted puppy make an adorable pair as they learn what it means to gain a new companion. The final spread contains tips on how to take care of a new friend ("Hug," "Help each other," "Keep clean").
VERDICT A fine addition for medium to larger collections, especially where patrons are seeking materials on welcoming a pet to the family.

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