Little Dog Lost: The True Story of a Brave Dog Named Baltic

Mônica Carnesi. Penguin/Paulsen, $15.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-399-25666-0
Debut author/illustrator Carnesi’s cartoon-styled watercolors and spare text provide a suspenseful yet reassuring account of the real-life rescue of a dog that was swept out into the Baltic Sea on an ice floe in January 2010. Direct, almost halting snippets of narration bring readers in close to the action: “Something is moving in the water! What is it? Is it a bird? No. A fish? No. It’s a DOG!” Modest illustrations in a limited and muted palette of blue, white, red, and brown take audiences right up to the river’s edge to squint at the small figure stranded far out on an ice sheet. The next spread zeroes in on a closeup of the confused canine. The artwork’s perspective continually shifts, giving the tale a cinematic frame-by-frame quality, before settling aboard the Polish ship, the Baltica, that finally rescues the dog. Warm and dry, the dog is christened Baltic, eventually becoming a member of the research vessel’s crew. The book’s small trim size complements the cozy, feel-good conclusion. More details and photographs of Baltic are included in an author’s note. Ages 3–5. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 11/07/2011
Release date: 01/05/2012
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