A white child takes an old dog for a walk in this Swedish import (by way of New Zealand).
This graceful picture book by author/illustrator Lindström catches at the heart in small ways as the unnamed narrator relates a quiet story of taking Mouse, an old, fat dog with “ears as thin as pancakes,” for a walk. Mouse is not the narrator’s dog, so first the child goes to Mouse’s owner’s house and asks to walk him, and “I’m always allowed.” Lindström’s double-page spreads feature backgrounds in soft, frescolike colors that enhance the winsome small figures of the child and dog (and the dog’s expressions are delightful). No marked adventures occur; the child and dog walk very slowly to the park, Mouse eats his (and the child’s) lunch while the child “look[s] carefully at a particular cloud.” On the way back, it gets windy, and “we seem to be standing still but I think we’re moving”—the wry, gentle narrative voice leads readers along as if it’s walking the old dog. When the child delivers Mouse back to his owner, heartstrings are gently tugged. “I wish Mouse was mine,” states the child, who walks away bravely, while Mouse’s snout in the window on the final page echoes the child’s longing.
A poignant tale tenderly executed in both illustrations and words.(Picture book. 3-8)