Entertainment » Books

Broadway Barks

by Michael Wood
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Friday Jun 6, 2008
Broadway Barks

In a new creative effort from Broadway beloved Bernadette Peters arrives the new children's book Broadway Barks. Her narrative, which follows the sad tale of a homeless New York City dog, is accompanied by the vibrant illustrations of British-born artist, Liz Murphy. At the story's onset, we find our sad protagonist alone in Central Park after being discarded by his last owner. The pup -- formerly named Douglas -- is not too pretty, but is a plucky fellow who is immediately likeable. Soon the sad pooch meets and makes friends with a nice lady with curly, red hair. I'll give you one guess who it might be!

Soon the pup is off in a checkered taxi with his new lady friend off to see "Broadway Barks," a benefit concert based on the real thing headed by Peters and pal Mary Tyler Moore. After a traumatic turn on stage, the sad dog finds Isabel, a charming young girl who loves him for his gritty yet amiable self. The story ends happily with Isabel and her new pup "Kramer" living cozily together, happily ever after.

In addition to the legendary career Ms. Peters has created on stages and screens across the world, she also devotes her time to helping homeless animals find loving homes, namely through her annual "Broadway Barks" concert. The book itself is quite simply written, with a plot easy enough for even the most novice readers to appreciate. What makes the book a true gem are the eye-popping illustrations. Murphy's multi-media artwork incorporates a variety of rich textures onto each page. Kramer's fur is composed of imagery of scruffy, gray carpets and a hot pink tongue, while the Manhattan skyline incorporates buildings fashioned from old newspaper texts and the sky-scape created from rich paint on canvas. Murphy imaginatively recreates the Big Apple in a way absolutely ideal for the pages of a children's book.

As an added bonus, a CD is included in the back of the book that contains Peters' reading of "Broadway Barks" and "Kramer's Song", also written and sung by Peters. The book is a lovely collaboration between one of Broadway's sweetest sweethearts and an enormously talented illustrator that is sure to keep many more pets-in-need off the streets and in arms of animal-loving owners.

Michael Wood is a contributor and Editorial Assistant for EDGE Publications.

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