There are few things more beautiful than a moonlit winter night, and Paulsen has captured that, plus the thrill of speeding across the snow via dogsled, in a text as crisp, clean, and magical as such evenings. It is the dogs' emotions, as much as the narrator's, that are evoked: the animals strain at their harnesses, singing in anticipation of the run. Ruth Wright Paulsen's illustrations show the nuances of canine behavior in the positions of ears, tails, lolling tongues, and flashing paws. The swift, strong, smiling creatures are one with the white and blue-black night; on one double-page spread, the aurora borealis in ghostly greens is their background. Dogteam reads aloud beautifully, but its poetry will be best understood through one-on-one sharing with an adult. All who see and hear it will, for a few moments, join in the winter run. Children who live in areas without snow will experience the wonder of its season through this book. For those living in cold climates, it may inspire a nighttime ski, or skate, or at least a moonlit walk, and they will understand the dogs' dilemma: although it is comforting to come home to warmth and firelight, something in them yearns to run forever.
Carla Kozak, San Francisco Public Library
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc