cover image Homer


Elisha Cooper. Greenwillow, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-06-201248-7

With minimal text and evocative panoramas of a beach house that exude serenity and quiet pleasures, Cooper (Beaver Is Lost) focuses attention on the loving relationship between a family and their loyal dog. One by one, family members ask Homer to join them, but the dog is happy to watch from the porch. Three younger dogs invite him to “Chase and race around the yard?” and Homer answers, “No, thanks.” The smallest child suggests exploring the field with her. “Thank you, but no.” As each family member returns to the house, they share their discoveries with Homer (flowers, a shell, fresh vegetables from the market). Finally, the father asks, “Do you need anything?” and Homer answers, “No, I have everything I want.” He goes inside, eats his food, climbs into a blue chair, and adds, “I have you.” Dog lovers will adore this quiet portrayal of companionship on an idyllic summer day. Moreover, Homer’s attitude speaks volumes to readers of all ages who find contentment and peace in close-knit relationships, without needing to be at the center of the action. Ages 3–8. (June)