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ALWAYS by Alison McGhee Kirkus Star


by Alison McGhee and illustrated by Pascal Lemaitre

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: June 9th, 2009
ISBN: 978-1-4169-7481-9
Publisher: Paula Wiseman/Simon & Schuster

Just when it seems that there’s nothing more to say about the enduring bond between a dog and its owner, an unassuming little pooch with brown spots steps up to the plate and adds his own first-person interpretation of that special attachment. The unnamed dog of indeterminate breed tells his story in simple, declarative sentences, announcing in no uncertain terms how he will defend his castle from intruders both big (an impending meteor) and small (invading mice). The text has a droll simplicity well suited to Lemaitre’s understated pencil illustrations with pastel washes that show both domestic catastrophes and natural disasters being averted with aplomb by this tiny but immensely powerful dog. The story moves in a graceful arc, from smaller dangers to wind, lightning and the encroaching sea, all averted by the brave hero. He can deflect any sort of danger from this castle, motivated just because his owner (a little girl) lives there. Dog owners will love this, as will those who wish they had a dog just like this one. (Picture book. 4-8)