MOGIE by Kathi Appelt


The Heart of the House
by , illustrated by
Age Range: 4 - 8
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Mogie finds his purpose in this true story about the Houston Ronald McDonald House.

Gage is a “ball-chasing, race-running, back-flipping little boy”…until he gets too sick to do any of those things, and his family flies to a very special house in a Big City. He’s lost his mojo. And there, Mogie, a “ball-chasing, tail-wagging, moon-howling pup” who has failed at training for everything else, wanders in and knows just what to do. He intuits when Gage needs him to sit next to him quietly and when his antics will help him remember and look forward to brighter, healthier days. And slowly, Gage gets better and goes home. Mogie misses Gage, but now he’s watching out for Antonia, “a toe-dancing, jump-roping, cartwheel-spinning girl” who’s lost her cha-cha-cha. “Give this dog a bone and he’ll chew it. Give him a stick and he’ll fetch it. Give him a kiddo who is bluer than blue, and Mogie will be truer than true.” Rosenthal’s pencil, charcoal and digital illustrations wonderfully complement this emotional tale without tipping it into the saccharine. Colors help set the mood of each spread, and the scribbly style against a white background lends the illustrations a slightly retro feel. Wheelchairs and bald heads on a few children are the only indications of illness, aside from subdued posture.

Mogie’s one good dog, and readers will be awfully glad they’ve met him. (author’s note) (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: June 10th, 2014
ISBN: 978-1-4424-8054-4
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Atheneum
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 2014


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