Get ready for a rollicking story-hour session; the blatant injustices suffered by a pampered young dog during his initiation into the cold, cruel world of socialization will have the picture-book set on its feet with indignation and cheering at the puppy's eventual triumph.
Diminutive Tootsie, a city-dweller whose water dish sports a wedge of lime, is excited about his first trip with Danny the dog-walker, but the motley crew of canine personalities who share the leash take great joy in pushing him around. Smacked and pushed, he tries to get Danny to notice; but the boy keeps blaming Tootsie for his troubles. Tootsie takes a stand just in time to nab a robber and his loot while the others cower in safety; when a new dog joins the group the next day, Tootsie breaks the cycle of bullying. Alley's compositions take the dog's-eye view; each animal's expressions fit its broadly described characterizations; expert illustrative detail abounds in the comical paintings. The story is a terrific parallel to any new situatione.g., the first day of schoolbut the pluck of this poodle stands alone as sheer entertainment.