No More Bows

illus. by Samantha Cotterill. 40p. HarperCollins/Harper. Jan. 2017. spiral $17.99. ISBN 9780062408709.
PreS-Gr 2—Cotterill's debut picture book is a delight. From its vibrant and expressive illustrations to its hilarious and heartwarming story, this is a book to be savored and shared. Hugo, a large yellow dog, lives with red-headed Milly, who loves to play tea party and dress up. Patient Hugo tolerates all the imaginary play (he knows that Milly will eventually take him for a walk), until the day that Milly decides that it is time to dress up Hugo with a large red bow. Hugo is "not amused" and feels the ridicule of the neighborhood dogs peering out their windows as he is dragged by on his walk. Hugo gets rid of the first bow, but that is not the end of his embarrassment. Milly gets bigger, frillier, and sparklier bows. Hugo feels annoyance, anger, and despair, and Cotterill cleverly conveys Hugo's range of emotions and verbal retorts on a spread in which Hugo sports a wide variety of ridiculous bows. Eventually, Hugo declares, "NO MORE BOWS!" and runs away, but life without Milly turns out to be lonely. So Hugo returns—with a plan. He shows Milly the type of bow he'd actually enjoy, and soon he is strutting through town with a pert bow tie and a big smile. This charming book celebrates the special bond young children have with dogs as well as the compromises that must occur in any friendship.
VERDICT Storytime crowds will enjoy this story and clamor for another installment.

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