Moira lives on an island off the coast of Ireland with her family and her dog, Abby. Hâ€žnel (Mia the Beach Cat, 1994, etc.) spends about half the book setting up Moira's life on this rural, remote island of fishermen and farmers. The second half tells of Abby's near-fatal experience of and recovery from eating poisoned meat left out for a fox. This gentle, delicate story begins slowly and so generally that new readers will have no idea where it's going. The story of Abby's illness is told straightforwardly and without sentimentality or false suspense, a style that suits the island setting and its inhabitants. The watercolor-and-ink illustrations match the mood, introducing humor that's especially welcome during the sorrowful parts.