A Greyhound, a Groundhog opens with a swirly gray oval that, on the next page, transforms itself into “A hound. A round hound. A greyhound.” A similarly oblong hole soon reveals “A hog. A round hog. A groundhog.” The lithe greyhound and the chubby groundhog stretch—and we’re off! Emily Jenkins’ rhythmic text accompanies Chris Appelhans’ whirling illustrations as these two surprising playmates engage in a spirited romp “around and around and around and around” in a pastel-hued meadow. They pause to marvel at a new discovery, only to take up the chase once more.
Jenkins’ dedication credits Ruth Knauss’ A Very Special House for the text’s inspiration and rhythmic feel. The playful, circular repetition also may remind readers of the modern classic Orange Pear Apple Bear by Emily Gravett. Appelhans’ joyful watercolor and pencil illustrations perfectly capture the motion and freedom of the chase, as near-abstract shapes convey the pair’s speed. The carefully controlled palette, in shades of gray, brown, pink and purple, reflects the similarly restrained vocabulary, perfect for young listeners and brand-new readers.
Words and pictures turn around one another, much like the two animal friends whose antics they capture so delightfully.