23 September 2007

Book of the Week--Bow Wow Bugs a Bug

I have not intentionally chosen another picture book as Book of the Week. Nor, to be more specific, have I chosen another wordless picture book to be Book of the Week. That was just a fluke. Peter Collington's The Tooth Fairy was selected last week to commemorate the loss of my daughter's first tooth. It just so happens that ever since we snatched Bow Wow Bugs a Bug (Newgarden, Mark and Megan Montague Cash) from our local library's stacks, my daughter has insisted on "reading" it every night. I have tried wordless picture books on her before, with little success. I don't know if she feels ripped off because there are no words or what, but for whatever reason, the illustrations were never enough to spark her imagination. Not so with Bow Wow--and she's not even a dog person! Each night we have taken turns making up the story to go along with the--truly daft--illustrations. The story is simple enough--a terrier is perturbed by a speck of a bug and follows him around town. My favorite bit is when the terrier comes face to face with an identical terrier sniffing down an identical speck of a bug. The two dogs take part in a mirroring montage straight out of Duck Soup. It's a sly bit of cultural knowledge slipped into a children's book: funny for the kids, a wonderful tip-of-the-hat for Marx Brothers buffs. See? Not just for kids!

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