Tomi Ungerer has given the expression "It's a dog's life" a whole new meaning with the recent release of Flix, his first children's book in 25 years. A tongue-in-cheek treatment of a dog born to feline parents (an ancestor had been secretly married to a pug!), the book is filled with Ungerer's antic humor in its gentle, clearcut text and bold, imaginative illustrations. Flix, intelligent and kind, has a tough time among his kitten classmates, but he learns to climb trees and do cat-things, while his godfather, a bassett friend of the family, teaches him the ways of the dog world. These skills stand him in good stead as he grows up, and the story says a lot to young readers about overcoming discrimination. Guess what kind of offspring Flix has! This rollicking story of Flix's youth and marriage is released just as Ungerer has received the 1998 Hans Christian Andersen Award, in recognition of his important contributions to children's books. Reviewed by Etta Wilson.

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