A picture book about a lost puppy’s adventure, ultimately finding friends and home.
Harry, a tiny puppy, is brought to the park by his best friend, Emma. Overexcited, he chases after a ball and then is himself chased by two large dogs. Escaping them, he becomes lost. A friendly stray cat named Ginger leads him back to the park, but darkness has fallen, and Emma is gone. Ginger leads Harry to town, where, as they are raiding garbage cans in an alley for dinner, a large cat threatens Ginger. Tiny Harry finds his voice and barks, scaring it away. Then Harry smells home, and the two friends make their way there. Reunited with Emma, Harry remembers Ginger, and the final illustration shows both Harry and Ginger on Emma’s lamp, fed and warm and home. The simple story is heartwarming, especially for animal lovers, and the final double-page spread is a treasure. But too many of the other illustrations lack a liveliness of line, so successfully rendered in Marc Simont’s lost-dog story, The Stray Dog (2001). Readers will appreciate the clever endpapers, but they may puzzle over the title page illustration, which shows the puppy ensconced in its round, safe bed—positioned center page (a design placement of stability)—with no hint of any tension to come.
Pleasant and heartwarming but with somewhat sluggish illustrations. (Picture book. 3-7)