In this thoughtful graphic novel, a human boy who believes himself to be part dog seeks acceptance for who he is.
Mickey’s brothers and sisters all have four legs. His ardently dog-loving parents are professional bloodhound breeders who never planned on having a child. His parents encourage Mickey to develop his own sense of smell, which becomes just as acute as his hound siblings’. However, when his parents suddenly die, he goes to stay with his estranged aunt and uncle, a much older couple who hate dogs and demand that Mickey start acting like a boy. Now in the throes of grief, Mickey must also struggle with having to conform to someone else’s idea of whom he should be. Yorinks spins a pensive yarn with a quiet undercurrent of magical realism. Despite the muted tone, his message about acknowledging people for who they are inside and not who others wish them to be is gently insistent and touching. Set against a bygone backdrop completely lacking in any nods to contemporary technology, Lamb and Paroline’s catchy three-color illustrations establish the retro-styled ambiance. Although the theme of acceptance permeates, readers should note that it does not address this in any racial context, as nearly all of the characters appear to be white.
A heartfelt tale of acceptance, tolerance, and grief. (Graphic fiction. 7-10)