When her loving family—especially the boy who kisses her on the lips—moves to the city, Buddy is re-homed with a clueless though kind woman while a dog-loving boy yearns for a mutt of his own.
Long, thin lines of free-verse text scroll invitingly down the mostly white pages. This tender, engaging effort economically captures the winsome attitude of Buddy, whose “ears like airplane wings” now sag. She spends her days peering through her new owner’s fence, watching despondently for her missing boy and finally resolving to go find him. Mark, who lives in the same town, feels his life is empty without the dog he desperately needs but his mother won’t permit. And there is shy Charles Larue, the aging caretaker of a nearby mansion, who spends his lonely days waiting for something—anything—to bring meaning to his life. How these three needy creatures will come together is predictable but wholly satisfying nonetheless. Bauer describes the little dog joyfully chasing a ball: “She rose and rose / as though her hind legs were springs, / as though her front ones were wings.” The description just as aptly captures the heartening nature of this attractive tale, which is enhanced with Bell's pleasant black-and-white illustrations.
A perfect selection for pet lovers new to chapter books and anyone who just enjoys a cheerful dog story. (Verse fiction. 8-12)