Nicholas Allan, Author HarperCollins Publishers $10.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-694-00874-2
Although the ""D"" word is never mentioned (""I'm being collected,"" Dill the dog tells his owner, Lily, as he packs his suitcase), death is indeed the subject of this quirky, small-format picture book. As in his Jesus' Christmas Party, Allan pairs a puckish text with warm pen-and-wash sketches softened by loose, cartoonlike lines. Dill and Lily, as the title suggests, discuss heaven: she sees it as a sort of candy-and-carnival free-for-all; for Dill, it's full of bones and lampposts and ""whiffy things to smell on the ground."" A pair of angels come to pick up Dill (""Time,"" says one), giving Lily and Dill one last chance to embrace. Lily's sense of loss is assuaged when she finds a stray pup; in a sweet twist, she treats him to a dog's version of heaven on earth, with Dill looking down from his cloudtop perch in approval. Allan's lighthearted approach to a subject usually treated with great somberness will likely provoke a wide range of responses, with some applauding his whimsy, others decrying his irreverence and still others questioning the story's emotional truth. What is certain, however, is that opinions about the book will be strong, whether positive or negative. All ages. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 12/30/1996
Release date: 01/01/1997
Paperback - 32 pages - 978-0-09-965341-7
Hardcover - 978-980-257-194-9
Paperback - 32 pages - 978-0-09-948814-9
Paperback - 32 pages - 978-1-78295-305-0
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