cover image Antoinette


Kelly DiPucchio, illus. by Christian Robinson. Atheneum, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-4814-5783-5

In a delightful sequel to 2014’s Gaston, Gaston the bulldog’s poodle counterpart, Antoinette, wonders what she has to offer compared to her bulldog brothers Rocky, Ricky, and Bruno, who are—respectively—clever, fast, and strong. Antoinette’s mother has faith: “Chin up!” she barks. “You have something extra special. I can feel it in my bones!” That something extra is persistence, readers discover, as the two canine families realize that Gaston’s brother Ooh-La-La is missing: “Antoinette felt a tug in her heart and a twitch in her nose. She could not—would not—give up!” From then on it’s an action-packed romp, as Antoinette trails Ooh-La-La to the Louvre, smuggles herself past the guards, and carries out a heart-stopping rescue—complete with an instant replay—atop a famous sculpture. Robinson’s Parisian spreads are full of retro verve, but he doesn’t overlook the city’s ordinary inhabitants—a garbage collector, a bubble blower in the park, a woman in a head scarf driving a car. DiPucchio excels in showing rather than telling, and it’s clear that beneath Antoinette’s fluffy exterior lies the heart of a hero. Ages 4–8. Agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Feb.)