Seb and Hamish

illus. by Niki Daly. 32p. Frances Lincoln/Janetta Otter-Barry Bks. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781847804129.
PreS-K—A young boy overcomes a common childhood fear in this charming picture book. Security blanket in hand, Seb accompanies his mother on a visit to their new neighbor. He is initially frightened by Hamish, Mrs. Kenny's barking dachshund, but once the dog is safely placed in the bedroom and the adults are settling down to tea and cookies, Seb happily starts playing with the toys left for him. Stopping for a snack by the closed bedroom door, he and the now-quiet Hamish peek at each other through the gap between the bottom of the door and the floor. He opens the door to find the dog joyfully wagging his tail, and the two become fast friends. This sweet story is enhanced by Daly's watercolor illustrations, which portray the world from a child's perspective. Seb's fearful reaction to the animal is effectively depicted through the text and illustrations. Equally believable is how he comes to befriend the dog. Readers will like looking for the numerous dachshund references in the pictures. This book will have broad appeal for dog lovers and may encourage fearful children to be brave.—Martha Simpson, Stratford Library Association, CT

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