A boy meets a dog, and together they embark on a friendship that endures separation, age, and reunion.
Once there was a boy who loved a dog. Under star-filled skies he would tell the dog of “the adventures they would have and the games they would play.” When his mother proclaims he’s not old enough to care for the animal, the heartbroken, white child determinedly tries to grow up, but he’s not fast enough. His dog is adopted, and while kind new owners allow him to visit, he never stops dreaming of a future with his pal. As time passes, his visits become less frequent and life more complex, until one day he’s grown. When the owners can no longer care for the dog, the boy (now an adult) finally brings the black dog home. Strouse and Phelan perfectly complement each other in this meditation on the passage of time. Deceivingly simple text and illustrations belie the complex themes and artistic skill of its creators. In pacing and use of negative white space, the two channel Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree. However, this existential work is more Zen-like. Phelan’s smartly designed spreads take readers on a visual journey from cover to end pages, and as the adult boy tells his old friend once more about the adventures they will have, his dreams unfold like the wind.
Luminous. (Picture book. 4-8)