The best picture books have strong text AND strong art, the two elements creating an even better whole. That is the case with this edition of Kashtanka. Spirin's lush colours and rich details are a sensual delight. The watercolour paintings brought me right into the historical setting. Chekhov's story about a lost dog who is taken in by a circus clown has a gentle poignancy. A great book to share with children from preschool age up.