This author couldn’t get by without her dog.
Ray's unnamed protagonist, an adult writer for children, wakes in the morning to her dog's kiss. She works with her dog beside her. They go for a walk, eat dinner, go to sleep. One day the author visits a school, where the students love her. Throughout, the dog leads the author to inspiration, provides distraction when necessary, and keeps her company (except on the school visit). The final page depicts a little girl presumably inspired by that author’s visit, lying on her bed with a stuffed toy dog beside her and writing in a notebook. This subtle message may well be lost on young readers, and anyway, it is not much of a payoff for what is essentially a plotless book without a problem to be solved. Henry's watercolors convey city life in a muted palette, dotting the crowd and classroom scenes with a few dark-skinned faces; both the author and the inspired little girl are white. Unfortunately, neither the author nor the dog emerges with much kid appeal. The whole package seems designed more for well-meaning adults than children; even then, interest will be limited.
A surprising miss from an author whose books for young readers are usually spot-on. (Picture book. 4-6)