GOWANUS DOGS by Jonathan Frost


Age Range: 6 - 8
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Frost debuts with a flawed but heartwarming dog story, set along an industrial canal in New York City and illustrated with large, freely drawn black-and-white etchings. One winter’s morning, after “an exquisite breakfast” of garbage, three puppies explore the barren canalside and meet a friendly street person who lives in a cardboard box. Later, finding one puppy sick, the man takes her to an animal shelter, leading to a job, an apartment, and owners for the other two puppies. Frost depicts urban landscapes with a gray, dingy realism that evokes neither the puppies’ exuberance nor the joy of the happy ending, and the deep shading and diffuse lines sometimes make figures indistinct. While the strong textures at times create a swirling energy reminiscent of Brian Pinkney’s scratchboard illustrations, this more often resembles a first draft, a shadowy promise of the book- yet-to-be. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: April 6th, 1999
ISBN: 0-374-31058-0
Page count: 48pp
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15th, 1999