An adorable puppy takes her first airplane ride to her new home in this chapter book for young readers, launching a series.
This first installment in a planned travelcentric series for readers ages 5 and up introduces Lindie Lou, a playful cocker spaniel puppy about to leave her four siblings, mom Molly, and caring owners Sherry and Joe in Missouri for a new home with Sherry’s sister in Washington state. Lindie Lou romps with her brothers and sisters in their cozy “Puppy Playground,” finds her own comfort toy (a stuffed monkey), and discovers the backyard joys of chase-able chipmunks and autumn leaves (“She liked rolling around in the bright, crunchy colors”). Then Lindie Lou is on a plane, headed for Seattle. This initially intimidating experience turns into an escapade thanks to the puppy’s eager curiosity and 11-year-old Max, Lindie Lou’s handsome, wise canine traveling companion. The book includes a “Quick Quiz” (asking readers factual questions and questions to ponder: “Why did the author create the character, Max?”), “Fun Facts,” “things to do,” a calendar of annual events in St. Louis, and a website listing “Places to go with Pets, and Pet-friendly Hotels.” Infused with the author’s informed observations of doggy behavior and puppy charm, this narrative is also an empathetic guide for young children trying to cope with their own expanding boundaries. Lindie Lou is sometimes sad, sometimes uncertain and scared as she faces new situations, and the author shows how, when the unknown is explained and fear is dispelled through a sense of discovery, perspective changes. Visually, a homemade quality is reflected in cartoon illustrations of long-eared puppies, big-eyed and fluffy—rendered with coloring-book simplicity and an eye for “cute”—and in the apparently hand-drawn emphasis given certain action or emotive words (“rolling,” “dizzy,” “zigzag”). (Other books upcoming in the Lindie Lou series include Up in Space—an adventure at the Space Needle and Harvest Time—Halloween on an Iowa farm.)
What this volume about an adventurous, traveling puppy lacks in visual punch it makes up for with gentle storytelling designed to entertain and reassure children facing new experiences.