Ready or Not, Here Comes Scout!

Jill Abramson and Jane O’Connor, illus. by Deborah Melmon. Viking, $15.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-670-01441-5
Co-written by sisters, this book is drawn from the blog and subsequent adult book, The Puppy Diaries, by New York Times executive editor and devoted dog owner Abramson. Like O’Connor’s Fancy Nancy, Scout is a self-assured hero, as evidenced by the white puppy’s spirited, childlike narration (“Ooh ooh! Guess what! Today we’re going to the park, because I’m big enough now for real friends”). Scout’s eager voice and Melmon’s (Labracadabra) pencil-and-watercolor cartoons work in cheerful tandem to convey the puppy’s ingenuousness and exuberance. Scout is determined to make friends on her first trip to the dog park, but her efforts to join in the fun backfire. Repeatedly chiming “Ready or not, here I come!” the rambunctious Scout overwhelms and annoys her peers—disrupting their games and splashing wildly in the “puppy pool”—until she takes the time to learn proper play decorum. In a second lesson that also applies to two-legged playmates, Scout discovers how to deal with an irritable puppy that isn’t quite ready to play with others. Light yet thoughtful, this smooth collaboration is a surefire child and parent pleaser. Ages 4–6. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 07/30/2012
Release date: 09/18/2012
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