Black and White by Debora Vogrig

Cover image for Black and White.

Black and White by Debora Vogrig, illustrated by Pia Valentinis (9780802855756)

On a page full of black with a few white-lit windows, White wakes up. White spreads light through the sky and enters the house. Black hides under the bed. The two push and pull, wrestling a bit, then they head off together. Together they make neat crosswalk lines and then octopus ink messy splatter that turns into a spotted Dalmatian dog. The friends head to the forest of birch trees, to the Poles to see polar bears and penguins. They reach the savannah and run with zebras and the jungle where panthers stalk. In the evening, Black is the one who stretches out and fills the space. White begs for one more game, one more song, one more story and finally the two dazzle the night sky together.

This book explores colors, opposites and a playful friendship between white and black, light and dark. The text invites readers into their friendship and play, showing how the two colors balance one another, create surprising designs together, and form shadows and lightness. The interplay between the two opposites is cleverly done, showing how friends don’t have to agree or be similar to have a strong friendship.

The art in this picture book is done entirely in black and white with no touches of other color. The use of shadows, shapes, light sources and more create a dynamic style on the page, inviting readers to look closely, guess at the animals before the text reveals them and enjoy immersion into this two-tone world.

A stirring look at black and white, colors and opposites that inspires. Appropriate for ages 2-4.

Reviewed from copy provided by Eerdmans Books for Young Readers.

We Want a Dog by Lo Cole

Cover image for We Want a Dog.

We Want a Dog by Lo Cole (9781728238173)

This rollicking picture book gallops away asking questions about what sort of dog you want. Do you want one with hair or one that’s bare? One that races or one that digs in muddy places? One that barks or one that farts? One that pulls or one that drools? The book continues to show all sorts of doggy personalities on its pages with dogs that roll in stinky stuff, dogs with fleas, dogs that sniff, dogs that howl and many, many more. Readers exploring adopting a dog will find themselves inspired with all the different characters here, though for some the twist ending may be exactly what they were thinking!

Cole’s book takes rhyming and literally runs with it. The rhymes are bouncy and fun, playing along in triples throughout the book. They are never forced, instead feeling silly and light as the book progresses. The various sorts of pooches are enjoyed here, complete with naughty behaviors that will have kids giggling.

The art in the book is done in reds, blacks, whites and grays. It is bold and graphic, showing so many types of dogs and their personalities. From sitting in a checkered chair to barking out windows to pulling on leashes, each element is cleverly drawn.

A dog-gone good time. Appropriate for ages 2-4.

Reviewed from e-galley provided by Sourcebooks Jabberwocky.