The third installment of the Bea Garcia series features a dog-and-cat chase, a lost pet, and vocabulary expansion.
Sophie is Bea’s sweet, small pooch. According to Bea, Sophie is the “smartest dog in the world.” Bert is Bea’s terrorizing neighbor and classmate. Whenever he nears, he taunts Sophie (and Bea) with a “GRRRROWL” or “Buzzy Bea!” or “Scaredy dog!” So when Bert and Bea are paired for a homework project requiring them to interview each other’s families, both kids are out-of-sorts. After a failed first attempt, Bea brings Sophie to Bert’s home, where she visits with Bert’s kind mom and meets Bert’s pet: Big Kitty. The inevitable chase soon commences. Sophie flies out the window with Big Kitty in close pursuit, and Bea hurtles after them. Big Kitty is recovered in the crabapple tree, but Sophie is nowhere to be found. The family makes “Lost Dog! / ¡Perdido!” posters and plasters them throughout the neighborhood. With scrappiness and ingenuity, Bea devises a plan to lure Sophie back. Bea’s black-and-white sketches seamlessly transition from real life to her conjured thoughts. The nods to Spanish vocabulary reminding readers of Bea’s Latinx heritage are fairly limited, but there is plenty of new English vocabulary. Each chapter begins with an entry from Sophie’s Illustrated Dictionary of Dog, a device that sometimes feels forced.
An easy read for Bea’s fans and any kid with a furry pet of their own. (Fiction. 6-9)