Set in the Big Apple, The Adventures of Taxi Dog centres on the endearing relationship between Jim, who’s a cabdriver, and the street dog he adopts and names Maxi, and their adventures in the distinctive yellow taxicab that Jim drives around with Maxi for company.
The Barraccas’ sprightly rhyming prose has been crafted with an enjoyable rhythm that reads smoothly, and warmly relates the pair’s interactions with an interesting rotating cast of passengers. I also liked how some of the text has been cleverly laid out in a Yellow Cab-inspired box — a nice little design detail that gives the book a coherent feel.
However, it’s Mark Buehner’s wonderfully detailed, realistic — yet somewhat dreamy — illustrations that lend a certain poignancy to the special closeness shared by the two buddies.
Incidentally, Buehner’s illustrations also have an additional fun factor in that he likes to hide various animals in his works — in this case, a cat on every page — with some being easier to find than others. In fact, my kids picked up on this little detail by themselves — even without me pointing it out, they were already asking, “Where’s the cat?” So, never doubt a child’s observation prowess!