Reviews for Little Dog, Lost

Booklist Reviews 2012 June #1
*Starred Review* A stray on the streets of the small town of Erthly, little dog Buddy remembers her happy bond with a boy, whose family moved away to a city apartment where there was no room for Buddy. Then Buddy's new owner shooed her out, and she left, head low, / tail tucked, / airplane ears sagging. But Buddy is not the only stray in Erthly who is lonely and lost: So many lives / filled / with longing. There is Charles Larue, a shy, reclusive caretaker of a mansion. Does he have a dark secret? And then there is Mark, a young boy whose father took off before he was born, who desperately wants a dog and falls instantly, helplessly in love with Buddy, feeling the snuffle of warm breath / against his palm. But Mark's mother, who is mayor of Erthly, says no to a pet. The town kids want a dog park, and they organize a rally to support their cause, but can Mark confront his mom? Illustrated with occasional, expressive black-and-white drawings, mostly from Buddy's viewpoint of the world from the ground up, the rapid, immediate free verse will grab readers first with the longing and loneliness and then, in contrast, the boy and dog in bliss. Great for sharing with pet lovers. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2012 Fall
More than anything, Mark wants a dog. His mom, the town's mayor, says no. More than anything, dog Buddy wants a boy. But hers has moved away. More than anything, shy Charles Larue wants to belong. But the town has labeled him as odd and shunned him. A chance thunderstorm fixes all their problems in this somewhat trite but sweet verse novel.

Kirkus Reviews 2012 March #2
When her loving family--especially the boy who kisses her on the lips--moves to the city, Buddy is re-homed with a clueless though kind woman while a dog-loving boy yearns for a mutt of his own. Long, thin lines of free-verse text scroll invitingly down the mostly white pages. This tender, engaging effort economically captures the winsome attitude of Buddy, whose "ears like airplane wings" now sag. She spends her days peering through her new owner's fence, watching despondently for her missing boy and finally resolving to go find him. Mark, who lives in the same town, feels his life is empty without the dog he desperately needs but his mother won't permit. And there is shy Charles Larue, the aging caretaker of a nearby mansion, who spends his lonely days waiting for something--anything--to bring meaning to his life. How these three needy creatures will come together is predictable but wholly satisfying nonetheless. Bauer describes the little dog joyfully chasing a ball: "She rose and rose / as though her hind legs were springs, / as though her front ones were wings." The description just as aptly captures the heartening nature of this attractive tale, which is enhanced with Bell's pleasant black-and-white illustrations. A perfect selection for pet lovers new to chapter books and anyone who just enjoys a cheerful dog story. (Verse fiction. 8-12) Copyright Kirkus 2012 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2012 April #1

Told in free verse, this charming novel examines themes of longing and loneliness through three memorable characters: a boy, Mark, who desperately wants a dog; a taciturn old man, Charles Larue, who cares for an empty mansion; and a small dog, Buddy, given away when her family moves. Newbery Honor-author Bauer (On My Honor) crafts distinct voices for each character and develops a strong sense of place in the close-knit town of Erthly, where Mark's mother is mayor. The stories of these three characters converge when Buddy runs away, Larue seeks a purpose after his deceased boss wills him the house, and Mark channels his wish for a dog into a protest for a dog park. "So much longing/ So many lives/ filled/ with longing./ It's what our stories--/ all our stories--/ are made of./ And what is longing/ made of/ except hope?" While Bauer offers a somewhat tidy conclusion, any child who has ever longed for a pet or tried to convince a parent to give in to a dear wish will identify with Mark. Ages 8-12. Agent: Rubin Pfeffer, East West Literary Agency. (May)

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