Written and Illustrated by Andy Pritchett
Candlewick Press, 2013
The plot in a nutshell: A dog finds a stick and looks for someone to help him play with it
Puppy is very excited to find a stick. He asks Cow if she wants to play with it, but she is busy eating grass. He invites Chicken to play, but she is going after a worm. Pig is too busy rolling in the mud to play with Puppy. Dejected, Puppy throws the stick away and is surprised when it comes back. Looking up, he sees another dog who wants to play. Together, they have so much fun with the stick that Cow, Chicken and Pig eventually join in. Puppy and the new dog decide to become friends.
It would be tough to get more simplistic or more likeable than this fun debut picture book from author/illustrator Andy Pritchett. The story is told in dialogue of one word at a time, with accompanying artwork, in digitally colored pencil drawings, that features only one or two characters per page on different colored paper with no background art.
The character’s emotions can be inferred from both their facial expression and the punctuation marks used after their word. I particularly liked that Puppy was happy to be playing with all the barnyard animals but found a special connection with the other dog. This book is a quick read that I found to be funny and very enjoyable.
And what did we learn? What I take away from this book is that, no matter how unusual your interests are, there are always others out there who share them.
And a quick birthday shout out to my son and daughter, who have had a special connection and shared interests for 26 years now. May life continue to provide you bigger and better sticks to play with.