HEAVEN by Nicholas Allan


by & illustrated by
Age Range: 4 - 6
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 Most books about the death of a pet are solemn and carefully worded, but Allan (Jesus' Christmas Party, 1992, etc.) treats the subject in a decidedly different manner. A little girl who finds her dog, Dill, packing a suitcase asks where he is going. He tells her, ``Up there,'' meaning heaven. Dill--who has the supercilious demeanor of a British butler--and the girl trade imagined descriptions of heaven. She sees it as a place of self-indulgence with no consequences-- abundant candy, carnivals, no illness. The dog's heaven includes meaty bones to eat, plentiful lampposts, and piles and piles of ``whiffy things,'' e.g., bones and dog droppings (which are, unfortunately, illustrated). The two friends squabble while angel-dogs give them time to say goodbye; the inevitable sad moments that follow the banter feel superficial and cheap. When a stray puppy comes to live with the girl, she tries to give it a little heaven on earth, but readers may already have gone on to the more congenial version of paradise found in Cynthia Rylant's Dog Heaven (1995). (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Jan. 31st, 1997
ISBN: 0-694-00874-5
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1st, 1996


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