Ron Barrett ~ Crown, 1984
Stumbled on a chuckler some weeks back at a library sale and was stunned to find I hadn't seen it before. Written and illustrated by the artist behind Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, this out-of-print wonder is a cute idea illustrated in minimal color to huge comic effect. Take a listen...
A long time ago, before TV, thousands of poodles, cocker spaniels, and collies roamed the western plains in search of biscuits, fire hydrants, and rubber balls. Boys and girls called "dogboys" and "doggirls" watched over the dogs and took care of them. They lived together on great ranches like The Lazy Poodle.Lead by a little girl called Dale Jeans, well... you can see where the story is headed. One silly pun after another (my fave being "Over hill... and dale" and you see the dog crawling over Dale herself), Dale finds herself in a pickle when her dogs are rustled (by a band of people all named Russell) and she and the dog Woo-Woo must save the day. Funny funny stuff.
In the end, the plot thins out so that the dogs are recovered, cowgirls and cowboys are created, and all is right with the world. I love the color and dark lines here, signature Barrett, for sure. I know I've said it before, but these pages send my son into giggle fits, and as a parent, that always gives me the ultimate satisfaction. Plus, any book with hand-draw borders (super classy) gets two thumbs up right out of the gate as far as I'm concerned.
Old MacDonald Had an Apartment House