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THE BLUE HOUSE DOG by Deborah Blumenthal


by Deborah Blumenthal & illustrated by Adam Gustavson

Age Range: 6 - 8

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-1-56145-537-9
Publisher: Peachtree

An unnamed boy of about ten describes a shy, homeless dog from his neighborhood that eventually becomes the boy’s new pet. The dog, a German shepherd mix with one blue eye and one brown eye, was originally owned by an elderly neighbor who lived in a blue house. After the man’s death, related bluntly in the text, the dog hangs around the neighborhood, afraid of anyone who tries to help. The boy, who lost his own dog to an unspecified illness, patiently offers food and affection to the dog, who gradually accepts the boy as his new owner. The free-verse, first-person narration is detached, conveying with subtle understatement that both boy and dog are lost and lonely characters. Gustavson’s sensitively constructed oil paintings communicate the anxious fear of the stray dog as well as the boy’s earnest attempts to help. Though it doesn’t break any new ground, dog lovers will enjoy the story of this helpful boy and his newfound canine companion. (Picture book. 6-8)