Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Lonesome Puppy

Nara, Yoshitomo. 2008. The Lonesome Puppy.

What can I say about The Lonesome Puppy? It's published by Chronicle Books. It was originally published in Japan in 1999. Its first American publication was this year, 2008. The flap reads, "Yoshitomo Nara is one of the most popular and influential contemporary artists in Japan, whose work--often featuring little girls and dogs--has attracted a dedicated worldwide following. This is his first book for children. He lives in Tochigi, Japan."

The story itself is odd. Quite odd in my opinion. That's not saying this sort of "odd" is good or bad. Here is what it is about. It is about a little girl and a great, big, enormous dog. (This dog is not big and red, however. Nor is our heroine named Elizabeth. No, this dog is much much bigger than Clifford.) The illustrations show the dog straddling continents. Two paws in Russia and two paws in the U.S. The dog is very lonely and sad until one day this little girl notices him--or I should say notices one of his paws--and decided to climb up (and up and up and up) to discover a new friend.

The book has a good (and affirming) message. And the illustrations are interesting. (Read that unique.) But it didn't necessarily work for me as a reader. It fell into the odd category. But if you come across this one, don't be afraid to try it, to read it. You might like it. You might even love it.

© Becky Laney of Young Readers

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