Mogie: The Heart of the House

Kathi Appelt, illus. by Marc Rosenthal. S&S/Atheneum, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-4424-8054-4
This cheering story is based on a real-life Labradoodle that resides at the Ronald McDonald House in Houston. Though this “ball-chasing, tail-wagging, moon-howling pup” is too frisky to make the grade as a service, search-and-rescue, or show dog, Mogie finds his raison d’être after wandering into a “very special house in the heart of the Big City.” There he befriends Gage, “once a ball-chasing, race-running, back-flipping boy,” who is now in a wheelchair. Rosenthal’s (Bobo the Sailor Man) loosely drafted illustrations showcase Mogie’s devotion to Gage, while Appelt’s homey, emphatic tone (“Give that dog a puddle and he’d splash”) will ring familiar to readers of The Underneath and The True Blue Scouts of Sugarman Swamp. When Gage, much recovered, leaves for home, Mogie adopts another needy patient. Kids will find the narrator’s question, “Who wouldn’t love a dog like that?” very easy to answer. A warm tribute to a remarkable dog and to the workers at Ronald McDonald Houses, which will receive a share of proceeds from book sales. Ages 4–8. Agent: Holly McGhee, Pippin Properties. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/21/2014
Release date: 06/10/2014
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