Puppy Love: Plenty of Love to Go Around by Emma Chichester Clark
I AM PLUM.
THE ONE AND ONLY SPECIAL PLUM.
Plum is a whiskery, Schnauzer-ish, bouncy black dog who's sitting on top of the domesticated canine world, adored and adorable, the focus of her family, Emma and Rupert, who dote on her every doing. And in an excess of riches, Plum also has two more ardent admirers, next-door neighbor kids Sam and Gracie, who are always ready to toss her a ball, have a chase, and generally take up the slack when Emma and Rupert have to do adult stuff.
But it's too good a dog's life to last. Gracie and Sam have so much fun with Plum that they succumb to the yen to have their own pet, but what they bring home is Binky, a sly and svelte white cat who takes the lay of the land and decides to get attention by sticking to Plum like her shadow. Binky even plays with Plummy's shaggy tail as he switches his own. It's humiliating! The kids love Binky's velcro act as he winds around Plum's feet. He even follows her to the park!
"IS THAT CAT WITH YOU?" ASKS PLUM'S FRIEND ESTHER.
"THE PARK IS JUST FOR DOGS!" THINKS PLUM.
It's no better back on the homefront. Emma goes on and on about how nice it is to have a cat around.
"NO! IT ISN'T!" PLUM GRUMPS.
"THE CAT FOLLOWS ME EVERYWHERE. SHE SNIFFS WHEN I SNIFF, ROLLS WHEN I ROLL, PEES WHEN I PEE!"
Highly incensed, Plum takes refuge alone in the shed outdoors, only to be followed by Binky. And when the door blows shut behind her, Plum is stuck inside with the CAT! Being a cat, Binky manages to squeeze under the door and escapes, leaving Plum a prisoner!
But Binky promptly returns with Sam to the rescue. Plum should be grateful, but she's not--not really.
And soon Plum gets a chance to take real revenge on that pesky CAT. Sam and Gracie are watching TV inside with Plum (for once), who alone notices that Binky is outside at the door and it's pouring rain. Ah, is revenge at hand at last?
I PUSHED THE DOOR SHUT AND LEANED AGAINST THE CAT DOOR.
Will Binky be left to cool his heels in the rain, or will Plum's conscience kick in in time?
Oh, dear! The green-eyed monster is there for pets just like it is for siblings, in Emma Chichester Clark's newest, Plenty of Love To Go Around (Nancy Paulsen/Random House, 2016), which plums (sorry!) the depths of fear of a former only who feels superseded. In the best happy ending style, Plum has the chance to come through, to find enough goodness in her doggy heart to let Binky in out of the storm. This sequel to Clark's popular first book, Love Is My Favorite Thing, takes advantage of artist Clark's charming colored-pencil and watercolor illustrations which greatly extend the plot, giving the appealingly expressive Plummie a bit of an advantage over the slinky Binky this time around.
For more cat vs. dog fun, pair this one with Dave Whamond's and Jennifer Stokes' Frank and Laverne (see review here) or Nick Bruel's second book in his best-selling series, Poor Puppy and Bad Kitty (review here).