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MUTT DOG! by Stephen Michael King


by Stephen Michael King & illustrated by Stephen Michael King

Age Range: 3 - 7

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-15-205561-4
Publisher: Harcourt

A scruffy little street mutt finds a home in this small, sweet tale. Seeking refuge from the streets, he finds a homeless shelter where a sympathetic lady falls in love and takes him home. The story is told in short declarative sentences that bridge themselves from page to page with ellipses, creating a smooth flow that never allows the reader to doubt the eventual happy ending. King’s signature line-and-watercolor illustrations portray a wiry gray-and-white mutt with a winsomely rounded snout—the only real mystery here is why no one picked him up before the shelter lady. Full-bleed spreads share space with vignettes that move the dog through the story in a pace that perfectly matches the text. That Mutt Dog and his family are thoroughly happy together is evident in every joyful line, from his ears flapping up with delight at the sight of a can of dog food to an intimate scene of the lady reading to Mutt Dog and her daughter in bed at night. If it lacks the mastery of Marc Simont’s The Stray Dog (2001), it is still nicely satisfying in its own right. (Picture book. 3-7)