Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Boot & Shoe

Booklist starred (August 2012 (Vol. 108, No. 22))

Preschool-Grade 3. Boot and Shoe, Shoe and Boot—they’re a perfect pair. The white-and-black canine moppets are identical littermates, except for one small detail: Boot has boot-high black markings on his legs, while Shoe has shoe-high markings on his. They live in harmony, eating out of the same bowl, peeing on the same tree, and sleeping in the same bed. Boot is “a back porch kind of dog,” while Shoe prefers the front porch. Sounds blissful, right? And it is, until a pesky squirrel upends their little lives. Frustrated by the squirrel’s shenanigans, the two chase the tiny menace “until it gets bored,” then collapse belly-up from exhaustion. Boot wakes to find himself on the front porch, with no Shoe in sight; Shoe finds himself on the back porch, with no Boot in sight. Befuddled, they each wait lovingly for the other to return to his rightful spot. Two-time Caldecott Honor winner Frazee creates the dogs’ world in a series of cozy, expressive vignettes (nestled in plenty of white space), which capture the devoted friends’ joy and angst in shades of muted green and yellow. Full-page spreads offer up views of their tidy house, both porches visible, and a particularly amusing image depicts (seemingly) hundreds of squirrels and shaggy pups chasing one another around, up, and over the structure. Rarely have dogs—or footwear—been so charming.

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