THE STRANGE ADVENTURES OF BLUE DOG by Jean Van Leeuwen

THE STRANGE ADVENTURES OF BLUE DOG

Age Range: 4 - 8
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Blue Dog is one in a menagerie of toy farm animals in the collection of Big Billy, a gentle boy much taken with his cows and hens and horses. He loves putting the pig in the hayloft and the rooster on the barn roof, but most of all Big Billy likes to play with Blue Dog. He starts taking him everywhere: school, a real farm, to bed. Van Leeuwen (Hannah of Fairfield, p. 73, etc.) makes it clear from the outset that Blue Dog is a surrogate, though a beloved one: “The moon rose. A soft beam of light reached down from the sky, coming to rest on Big Billy’s pillow. Big Billy sighed. And suddenly Blue Dog felt the room flooded with longing.” Then, after a portentous out-of-body experience, Blue Dog wakes to find another, rather larger dog in residence. He grows even happier, because his life on the farm has taken on a curious dose of reality, and Big Billy has not forgotten him—they still bunk together. Van Leeuwen gets the sense of yearning just right, balanced between a healthy hankering for the new and continued respect for (and joy in) the old. Ventura’s highly realistic artwork makes grand gestures toward the dramatic, but artfully remains true to the story line. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: May 1st, 1999
ISBN: 0-8037-1878-0
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Dial
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 1999




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