A little boy and his dog share experiences at home and out in the wider world, including a trip to another planet.
The unnamed boy has light skin and golden hair in the same shade as his faithful companion, a midsized dog with beady eyes and a round nose like his owner. At first the boy is in charge, apparently giving the dog traditional commands such as “Sit” and “Stay.” The dog becomes more of a peer as he begins to stand on two legs and act like a human, cooking and eating dinner and helping sail a boat to a mysterious island. The pair build a rocket ship and fly to another planet, where they speak to some ETs before flying back home. A satisfying conclusion finds the dog reading and singing with the boy at bedtime before a reprise of the command—or is it a request, or simply a description of the action?—“Stay,” and the concluding words, “Good boy.” The final double-page spread shows the pair tucked in bed, two good boys asleep together. The story unfolds entirely in one- or two-word phrases that can be interpreted as commands to the dog or as succinct summations of the action depicted on each page. Soft-focus watercolor-and-ink illustrations in subdued shades convey a dreamy atmosphere that makes the unfettered lives of this pair believable.
The bond between the golden-haired duo is quietly conveyed with an imaginative charm that deepens on subsequent readings. (Picture book. 3-7)