CHILDREN’S BOOKS Canine horror
WHEN YOU return from school and your dog rushes to lick your face, it may not mean he’s pleased to see you but hoping you’ll vomit your delicious-smelling lunch so he can share it. Alexandra Horowitz’s Inside a Dog, What Dogs See, Smell and Know (young readers’ edition, Simon and Schuster, £6.99) helps you shed your human perspective and understand how dogs experience the world, including questions such as: if a dog saves a life, is it intentional? Fascinating, even if you’re not a dog person. Age eight up.
Cats are key to The Adventures of Miss Petitfour by
(Bloomsbury, £6.99). From Clasby, the artistic bobble-hat wearer, to Your Shyness, with her lace collar and royal descent, they skilfully concatenate into kite-tail formation, to be trailed by Miss Petitfour as she floats through the sky, suspended from a ballooning tablecloth, to search for marmalade, visit a jumble sale or investigate an explosion at the confetti factory. In Michaels’s words, these adventures are just the right size for a single, magical day, as are Emma Block’s bite-size petit-fourpastel illustrations. But, as one might expect from the author of Fugitive Pieces, this book is not just a fondant fancy; it is also a discussion about how to tell a story. And, in common with Miss P’s friend, the bookseller Mrs Collarwaller, Michaels refutes the idea “children have no use for long words”, so her vocabulary is as daring as her protagonist. Age five to nine.
Simians save the day in Yossi and the Monkeys by Jennifer Tzivia MacLeod and Shirley Waisman (Kar Ben, £6.99). Yossi’s kippah-selling business is failing and he is too poor for Shavuot treats, until a juggling monkey joins the sales team. Yossi pays his colleague in apples and dubs him Zelig (“blessing”). But discontent is stirring at the circus, Zelig’s previous workplace, where monkeys are paid bananas. Age up to seven.
It is Shavuot, too, in by (Kar Ben, £6.99). Shoshana loves Grandma Jacobs’s art lessons. Each week, there’s a new project and a new artist with whom Shoshana is compared. For Shavuot, it’s paper-cutting and Shoshana is Grandma’s “little Chagall” (reflected in Annie Wilkinson’s illustration). Also featured are Modigliani, Lee Krasner and Pissarro. A refreshing twist on the festival picture book. Age up to nine.
The Art Lesson Allison and Wayne Marks