Girl finds dog, girl loses dog, and girl gets dog again in this picture book from the Netherlands.
Florence, a dark-haired, apple-cheeked white girl, wants a dog, but her parents are not on board with her plan. Undeterred, she decides to look for a stray to take in, and when she happens upon a scruffy brown dog “it’s LOVE at first sight.” The tag on the dog's collar reads "Mocha," and she sneaks it into her home. She also sneaks some food to it, which her parents don’t notice. Her mother does notice muddy paw prints and a big mess in the laundry room, however, and this leads to her discovery of Mocha in Florence’s bedroom. Although they are displeased, her parents let Florence keep Mocha while they search for its owner. But Florence launches a campaign to subvert their efforts by changing the phone number and drawing mustaches and such on the “found dog” posters they put up around town. When the owner does appear, Florence is bereft, but in an unlikely turn of events, he ends up letting Mocha stay with her as long as she promises they’ll visit, and her parents approve. The improbability of the storyline makes it a dubious choice, but van Lindenhuizen’s charming, naïve-style illustrations add great appeal.
Wish-fulfillment for Florence may ring false for readers. (Picture book. 4-6)