William Wegman, famous for photos and paintings of Weimaraners, a large gray dog breed, uses two puppies in this picture book to tell the story of a brother and sister. Flo and Wendell enjoy playing together -- sometimes. Just like any sibling pair (doggie or human).
Wegman exhibits his painting chops in this picture book and melds photos of the puppies' heads with goache paintings. The paintings and the clothing he paints for the dogs all have a vintage feel. The settings are all timeless -- no technology included. One scene of Flo on a swing hanging from the branch of a tree with her brother sitting on the branch looks like it could be meant to take place anytime in the last fifty years.
Flo and Wendell's parents wish they would do something together, so they are pictured playing badminton and running a lemonade stand. Again, timeless illustrations. But it's toward the end of the book when the vintage feel really hits home. Flo bakes cupcakes in a kitchen that is right out of the fifties. And when they read a book in front of the television (OK, there is a bit of technology in the book but it's not on), the television features antennae and old-fashioned knobs.
Children enjoy listening to the story and they like the illustrations. The painting is loose and almost abstract at times -- very one dimensional. The painting contrasts beautifully with the detailed photographs of the dogs' heads.
This picture book is perfect for children aged three to six. Dog lovers and kids with siblings will enjoy the tale of a brother and a sister.
Please note: This review is based on the final hardcover book provided by the publisher, Dial Books for Young Readers, for review purposes.
If you would like to continue receiving book reviews, including information about author appearances, author interviews and giveaways, please click the "Subscribe" icon. It's free and anonymous. Thank you for reading, and thank you for sharing this article with others.