A puppy takes an airplane trip to meet her new family in this first installment of a children’s series.
With her soft brown fur, floppy ears, and big paws, Lindie Lou is an adorable puppy, one of five in a litter. All are well taken care of in St. Louis by their Caucasian caretakers, Joe and Sherry, who set up a cozy Puppy Playground for them in the (unused) garage with blankets, toys, and a large doggy bed. Playtime, naps, and a few escapades keep Lindie Lou busy, such as a puppy play date at the City Museum with children from a homeless shelter who aren’t allowed to have pets. At 8 weeks old, the puppies are eligible for adoption and Joe and Sherry would love to keep Lindie Lou. But she’s been promised to Sherry’s sister, Kate, and “a promise is a promise.” Finally, it’s time for Lindie Lou’s biggest adventure yet, a flight to “Emerald City” (Seattle). A fellow canine traveler helps explain the scary parts, reassuring Lindie Lou, telling her all about her new home, and getting her excited about flying in an airplane: “I’ve been on many amazing journeys and you will too. This is only the beginning.” Additional material in the book, aimed at kids ages 4 to 8, includes a quiz, fun facts, and a St. Louis calendar of events. Bender (Harvest Time, 2018, etc.) appeals to young canine lovers by bringing them into Lindie Lou’s point of view. The writing can be bland, but in describing the puppy’s wide-eyed encounters with new places, the volume deftly shows how her anxieties often parallel those of children experiencing the unfamiliar. Lindie Lou learns to overcome her fears through a series of steps that kids, too, can follow: “Stop, look around, and listen. Think about what you can do. Do something if you need to. If nothing can be done, stay calm and think of something good.” The images by debut illustrator Willows are bright and cartoonlike in depicting animals, but helpfully realistic in showing such unfamiliar details as the airport’s luggage carousel.
A reassuring tale for young travelers, with a special appeal for dog lovers.