CHIL­DREN’S BOOKS Ca­nine hor­ror

The Jewish Chronicle - - LIFE -

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.

Anne Michaels

The Art Les­son Al­li­son and Wayne Marks

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