________________ CM . . . . Volume XXII Number 35. . . .May 13, 2016


A Parade of Puppies.

Charles Ghigna. Illustrated by Kristi Bridgeman.
Victoria, BC: Orca, 2016.
26 pp., board book, pdf & epub, $9.95 (bb).
ISBN 978-1-4598-0963-5 (bb), ISBN 978-1-4598-0964-2 (pdf), ISBN 978-1-4598-0965-9 (epub).

Preschool / Ages 1-3.

Review by Dave Jenkinson.

**** /4



I saw a puppy look up at me.
What kind of puppy could she be?

White coat. Black spots.
Friendly and smart.


Ghigna and Bridgeman, the author illustrator duo who produced the board book A Carnival of Cats have collaborated again to create A Parade of Puppies. As was the case with A Carnival of Cats, the publisher describes A Parade of Puppies as a "hint and reveal" board book. In this board book, the central character is a little boy. In the opening pair of facing pages, the left page provides a question which essentially asks: What breed of dog is the little boy seeing? The “hint” portion, which appears on the book’s rectos, consists of two parts, with one being a “boxed” cartoon-like illustration created by Bridgeman while the second hint is contained within the two lines of Ghigna’s text. As can be seen in the excerpt above, the text hints can speak to a specific breed’s identifying physical characteristics and/or its temperament. The boxed illustrations generally show only part of the dog. For example, the visual clue for the Dachshund reveals its short legs while just the tongue and nose of a Saint Bernard puppy spill out of the illustration box. Though the young boy’s opening question is not repeated, it is implied as young readers meet eight more puppies, of which seven are identified by breed. By flipping over the page, the reader learns the answer to the question about the puppy’s breed, with the answer being presented both visually and within the two-line text. For instance, the answer to the excerpt’s question is:

A loyal Dalmation
who stole my heart.

     And the accompanying illustration shows a Dalmation puppy swinging a water-gushing fire hose connected to a hydrant, an allusion to the breed’s past role as a firehouse dog.

     A surprise comes at the end of the book as the final dog is “vaguely” introduced with:

This little puppy just wants to play.

     Turning over the page does not reveal the dog’s breed. Instead, a sign in the illustration reads “ANIMAL RESCUE”, and the puppy’s breed is obviously irrelevant to the little boy who says:

I love this puppy
I met today.

As cute as a puppy could ever be.
This little puppy is the puppy for me!

     Like a A Carnival of Cats, A Parade of Puppies is sure to be a hit with the toddler set.

Highly Recommended.

Dave Jenkinson, CM's editor, lives in Winnipeg, MB, where he once owned a Dalmation.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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