Monday, November 2, 2009

Who Wants to Be a Poodle - I Don't.

I have always loved Lauren Child's style. From her wild and frequent patterns selections to her use of assorted fonts, her style exhibits a particularly lovely sense of whimsy. Geometric black and white print drapes meet abstract pink walls and green cabbage print wallpaper. The effect is definitely striking rather than jarring.

I particularly like this book because the main character is the divinely glamorous Mademoiselle Verity Brulee, who lives in a sumptuous apartment and likes everything to be "just so." Of course, being a lady of leisure means her hobbies include shoe shopping and ... more shoe shopping. Of course, her dog is a fluffy little white poodle, named Trixie Twinkle Toes Trot-a-Lot Delight. Unfortunately, Trixie is not the sort of dog who appreciates her name or living in the lap of luxury.

Trixie may not look the part, with her fluffy white coats and perfectly poofed tail, but she craves a life of adventure! Her dream is to prance through puddles, not to be sprayed by perfume. Trixie is being squashed by her life and finally decides she must take action. After reading (I guess this dog can read) an article titled "How to Change Your Dog Image," she feels emboldened to take action.

Trixie puts her plan into action by becoming dangerous and daring. She catches fleas and chews the neighbors newspaper. She slides straight down the banister and leaps onto the chandelier. Finally, Trixie runs through the raindrops and dives into the deepest puddle to save a smaller dog. Suddenly, Verity Burlee sees her pooch in a new light and understands what Trixie needs. And from then on, the pair are sure to venture outside every day that it rains.

The story is cute, but it's Child's illustrations that steal the show. I love the pairings of flowers with checks and the mad jumble of each page. Your eye won't know where to look first - it's a virtual playground of pattern and font. And the book has a wonderful happy ending with Trixie being able to convey to her owner what will make her feel alive.

Check out the fun games associated with this book.

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