Synopses & Reviews
A new baby changes everything . . . for two dogs
FudgeFudge does not like that new animal. Marshmallow does not like it either. Not even a little bit. So begins this forthright, hilarious, and boldly illustrated story about two dogs that see the arrival of a new baby as a huge problem. They don't like the way that new animal smells or the way the people just sit and stare at it, forgetting all about FudgeFudge and Marshmallow. They have to do something about it, but what? Then one morning a stranger named Grandpa arrives, and he wants to hold that new animal. Instantly FudgeFudge and Marshmallow know they can't allow that. Why? they ask each other. Because, by now, that new animal has become their new animal.
A picture book that speaks with wise and knowing humor to every parent and child who has welcomed or resisted an addition to the family. That New Animal is a 2005 Boston Globe - Horn Book Award Honor Book for Picture Books.
"Sibling rivalry finds its canine counterpart in the roiling emotions of the two furry anti-heroes in this laugh-out-loud domestic comedy. Seemingly abandoned by their human owners when a new gnomish-looking baby arrives ('They sit there, and don't seem to notice that Marshmallow is showing his tummy, all ready to be scratched'), the dogs find themselves cast into unfamiliar roles of id and superego. One, for instance, feverishly plots the baby's demise ('FudgeFudge wants to sleep in that new animal's cradle. On top of the animal'). But when a new interloper arrives, the pooches take another tack; now baby must be protected at all costs: 'It's not his new animal to go picking up whenever he feels like it,' Marshmallow proclaims, barking until Grandpa moves away from the cradle. 'It is our animal to hate as much as we want to.' From that comically off-kilter epiphany, it's a short jump to acceptance, and sloppily bestowed licks on baby's cheeks. Jenkins's (Five Creatures) gift for melding irony with empathy results in the kind of resonant and quotable text that youngsters will demand to hear again and again. Pratt's (Albert, the Dog Who Liked to Ride in Taxis) wry paintings are in perfect sync. When the dogs spot the family blissfully napping together, the look of confusion and sadness emanating from the pets' tiny eyes will strike a chord with any child who's ever wondered how soon that new baby can go back to the hospital. Ages 4-8." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Pratt quirkily illustrates the droll canine point of view with thickly colored, soft-edged brush strokes. Spare facial lines comically express canine and baby reactions. These two will fetch delight in Jenkins's clever take on new arrivals." -- Starred, Kirkus Reviews
"Jenkins...is quietly making a career...as one of the freshest, most evocative, and most accessible picture-book writers of family life. Pratt's paintings are suffused with warm tones and furry-textured brush strokes that comfort even during the dogs' anxious moments. The book's unerring identification of the sore spots of dethronement...will definitely strike chords of recognition in young audiences." -- Starred, The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"Jenkins's funny and well-paced text flows smoothly." -- Starred, The Horn Book
"This delightful twist on the frequently explored topic of pets displaced by infants will tickle children's funny bones. Both the author and illustrator demonstrate wonderful insight into pet psychology and family dynamics, and the elongated style of the vibrantly colored artwork strikes just the right note of humor and whimsy." -- Starred, School Library Journal
"Jenkins's gift for melding irony with empathy results in the kind of resonant and quotable text that youngsters will demand to hear again and again. Pratt's wry paintings are in perfect sync. Will strike a chord with any child who's ever wondered how soon that new baby can go back to the hospital." -- Starred, Publishers Weekly
About the Author
is the author of several picture books, including Daffodil
and Five Creatures
, an ALA Notable Book. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Pierre Pratt haswritten and/or illustrated many books for children. He lives in Montreal, Canada.