A dog loses his family—but finds a little one to care for—in Sanchez’s charming picture-book debut that tackles the difficult issue of poverty.
The book begins with Fluffy Dog, who is well-loved and cared for by his family. But when the family loses their home to foreclosure and must move away, they regretfully leave their dog behind. He waits for them to return, but the realtors chase him off. As he journeys to find his family, he becomes Scruffy instead of Fluffy; he moves from neighborhood to city to desert until one day, a bald eagle egg falls on him. After an unsuccessful attempt to return the egg to its nest, he can’t abandon it, so he takes it with him, rolling it with his nose into another city. Eventually, the egg begins to hatch, just enough so that its beak and feet stick out of the shell. But Scruffy doesn’t mind. He realizes he’s found a new family. The relationship between the expressively drawn and lovable Scruffy, whose sharp outline contrasts the textured color in his fur, and the faceless egg is impressively conveyed and will be adored by lap readers and independent readers alike. But the unresolved issues of Scruffy’s missing family, the egg’s eagle parents, and the homelessness both Scruffy and the egg share will leave sensitive readers concerned about their fates. Readers and parents will hope for further Scruffy adventures that may lead to a truly happy ending.
A warm, sweetly rendered, but potentially anxiety-inducing tale.