Dodsworth in Paris

Dodsworth and the duck, those popular world travelers, sail straight from last year's Dodsworth in New York into their second adventure, Dodsworth in Paris, written and illustrated by Tim Egan. Dodsworth and the duck are a classic duo, somewhere between Frog and Toad and Laurel and Hardy. Dodsworth, the responsible one warns: " 'You can't cause any trouble here.' 'I wouldn't dream of it,' said the duck." Chaos, of course, ensues. The duck imitates a Parisian mime, rings Notre Dame's bells, and launches some unusual paper airplanes -- with comically catastrophic results. Egan's art is beautifully funny, in the spirit of Arnold Lobel, James Marshall, and Felicia Bond. His watercolors portray gentle, realistic versions of wildly unrealistic romps -- Paris streets filled with animals strolling, juggling, carrying umbrellas. Egan is a master of simple language and deadpan humor. "One painter had a beret on his head. The duck liked the beret. The duck picked up an acorn cap. He put it on his head. It looked like a beret, sort of. 'Very debonair,' said Dodsworth." Dodsworth in Paris will engage pre-readers and readers, with plenty to amuse the adults. (The animal ringing the bells at Notre Dame, for instance, is suitably hunchbacked.)

July 23: Jessica Mitford died on this day in 1996.

Crime fiction legends Dennis Lehane and Michael Connelly discuss the new book that unites their beloved sleuths Patrick Kenzie and Harry Bosch.

advertisement
Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
Paradise and Elsewhere

Canadian short story marvel Kathy Page emerges as the Alice Munro of the supernatural from these heartfelt tales of shapeshifting swimmers, mild-mannered cannibals, and personality-shifting viruses transmitted through kisses.

Pastoral

When a persuasive pastor arrives in a sleepy farm town, his sage influence has otherworldly results (talking sheep, a mayor who walks on water). But can he pull off the miracle of finding kindly local Liz Denny the love of her life?  Small wonder looms large in this charmer from Andre Alexis.

The Hundred-Year House

When a poetry scholar goes digging through the decrepit estate of his wife's family to uncover a bygone arts colony's strange mysteries, he awakens a tenacious monster: his mother-in-law. A wickedly funny take on aging aristocracies from author Rebecca Makkai (The Borrower).