Hazelaar's first book is a simple celebration of a city dog's life-the focal point of which is walk-time. The text itself is pretty much a bare-bones effort: "Some dogs, if they are very well behaved, are allowed off their leashes. They meet their friends, exchange scents and secrets, and plot and plan." The pizazz comes from Hazelaar's quaint and fanciful illustrations, which convey the energy and spunk of a spectrum of canines. In one scene, three pets romp in the park and "imagine they are wild like their ancestors, chasing caribou across the tundra." Here the illustrator playfully creates shadows that reflect these embellished self-images rather than the animals' actual appearances. Such imaginative interpretations, as well as her use of an intriguing, soft palette that is at once subtle and luminescent, mark Hazelaar as an artist to watch. Ages 3-7. (Apr.)
Certain that an urban dog's life centers on walk time, this sparse text with its sprightly illustrations takes readers along for the fun of a human beingdog jaunt. Pulling their masters by the leash, the city's canines descend brownstone steps and hurry to the park. There they frolic with their friends, fetch sticks, and hunt fields for imaginary prey. At their masters' calls, they return home to eat, sleep, and wait until night, when the ritual repeats itself. Subdued colors convey stylized city views swaddled in morning mists in this entertaining interpretation of the highlights of a dog's day by an author who's obviously in the know.