A lovable canine gets lost in the woods in this sequel from the team of Dworkin and Chelich (The Dog and the Jet Ski, 2016, etc.).
An Irish setter named Red is off on a hike with two friends, Colin and Kenny (one boy is white; the other is black). When Red chases a chipmunk off the trail, he gets separated from the boys. Luckily, an oriole offers to show him around the woods. Discovering that Red is hungry, the bird introduces him to a fox, who guides the dog through the wetlands, where they see more wildlife. Red takes directions through the prairie (meeting more creatures) back to the woods, where he begs for a sandwich from two young hikers. Kenny and Colin haven’t abandoned Red; they’re just collecting their canoe to get a better view of the landscape. Finally, the dog and the boys are reunited. Red’s dialogue with the animals dilutes the realism here. But the gorgeous photorealistic paintings, suitable for a naturalist’s guidebook, keep the story grounded. Some challenging vocabulary, including creature names and terms such as “quench” and “obedient,” makes this well-suited to independent readers in first through third grades. And the detailed pictures and measured pace will likely keep lap readers interested in Red’s escapades.
Glorious images, a low-risk adventure, and a passion for nature should inspire readers to visit their local wildlife preserves.