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JUST A DOG by Michael Gerard Bauer

JUST A DOG

By Michael Gerard Bauer

Age Range: 8 - 12

Pub Date: Dec. 1st, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-545-37452-1
Publisher: Scholastic

Lassie or Rin Tin Tin, he’s not. To most people, he’s just a dog, but to Corey, Mister Mosely is family.

Born to a Dalmatian mother and (apparently) a Great Dane father, the only spots on Mister Mosely are one black tear near his eye and a black heart on his white chest, keys to his personality. Corey relates in 29 short, episodic chapters the serious, sad and silly antics of Mister Mosely, always the center of attention and affection. The beginning sentence is a flash-forward, with the stories that follow leading to that point: “The day my dad said Mister Mosely was ‘just a dog,’ my mum punched him.” Incidents include Moe’s being hit by a car; his goofy way of delivering newspapers; his destruction of a pink, Christmas-gift panda; and his getting a fishhook caught in his mouth. When he senses that Mum is ready to give birth to her third child, Moe never leaves her side. When Corey almost gets into a car with a strange couple, Moe intercedes. It’s his mum’s suggestion that Corey write down all the stories about his dog to remember him, which is a smart idea for parents to follow when a child’s pet dies.

Dog lovers will lap up this appealing Australian import from its beguiling cover to the last page, at which point they will probably need a tissue or two.  (Fiction. 8-12)