An imaginative little girl named Ally adores dogs but can’t have one of her own due to her allergies.
After a snowstorm, Ally makes a dog sculpture out of snow. Snow Dog comes to life and follows Ally home, staying till the spring thaw. Then Ally creates a new dog out of flowers and leaves from her backyard, and Flower Dog stays till summer. On a beach vacation, Ally invents Sand Dog, and in the autumn, Leaf Dog. Each dog starts as a static sculpture and then immediately morphs into a realistic dog with hints of its origin, such as leaf-shaped ears and a tail shaped like a crooked twig. The boundaries between imagination and reality are creatively blurred in the pictures, as the realistic dogs each play with Ally, following her faithfully and engaging in seasonal activities. Charming illustrations in a loose, playful style bring the dogs to life, whether they are real or not. An open-ended conclusion shows Ally drawing all her dogs at play and Snow Dog returning with the first snow of the winter, even as the text indicates the other dogs also return. A final, unnecessary page gives directions for making a dog sculpture out of common household items.
Ally is a clever and creative character that kids with similar afflictions will relate to. (Picture book. 3-7)