"I Love You, Fred"

The goggle-eyed pup in “I Love You, Fred” will charm the socks off old and young alike. This heartwarming tale by Mick Inkpen features a pooch with problems that continue to dog him. Fred is well mannered and obeys commands like sit, stay, fetch, and walk but when his family says “Fred…” it throws him for a loop.

‘“Fred! Fred! Fred!’ they say. They say it all the time…If only I could Fred.” The pup laments.

Fred also doesn’t understand who the dog is upstairs, the one that stares at him from the full-length mirror. He looks a lot like Fred, exactly, in fact, and even holds a polka dot ball in his mouth like the one Fred grasps in his incisors.

At the park, Fred sees the same dog reflected in a pond. Maybe the pup wants to play, Fred thinks, diving in headfirst. That daring escapade could have ended in disaster had it not been for Fred’s red-headed boy, who comes to the rescue lickety-split, retrieving his pet, pulling him into a hug, and whispering “Oh, Fred,…Fred. Fred.”

Love saves the day and all is well as “A light goes on inside (Fred’s) head.”

Overlarge, colorful illustrations by Chloë Inkpen bring Fred and his boy to vibrant life, with bolded text adding comic emphasis. Kids smitten with Fred might want to read the Inkpen’s first book featuring Fred’s antics, “I Will Love You Anyway.”