Kirkus Reviews QR Code


by Amy Hest & illustrated by Julia Denos

Age Range: 8 - 12

Pub Date: March 1st, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-7636-3695-1
Publisher: Candlewick

Annie introduces new dog Leo to the Rossi household in a letter of welcome and decides to keep writing, and reading, secret letters to him.

Youngsters who first met Annie in Remembering Mrs. Rossi (2007) will see that she is coming to terms with her mother’s death. Episodes throughout her fourth-grade year are recounted in Annie’s infectiously exuberant voice. The letters, interspersed with lists, rules, assignments and plenty of pencil drawings and doodles, will keep children, even reluctant readers, eagerly flipping the pages. Resilient Annie finds comfort with Leo: When she snuggles and reads her letters to him, Annie remembers her mother reading to her. Sometimes, in missives sure to have children giggling, Annie has to instruct Leo on how to be a Model Citizen by minding his elevator manners and not stealing slippers. Mostly, she shares her trials, revealing her annoyance with classmate Edward Noble; tribulations, outlining four school catastrophes in one day; and triumphs, expressing her excitement about favorite teacher Miss Meadows coming to visit the Rossis—after all, Annie’s father needs a new friend…. With that last tidbit dangling, the author leaves readers begging for another installment about the Rossis.

In Annie, readers will find a perfectly imperfect Model Citizen, a loving daughter and good friend—in other words, someone a lot like them. (Fiction. 8-12)