cover image UP IN HEAVEN


Emma Chichester Clark, . . Doubleday, $15.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-385-74638-0

Clark (I Love You, Blue Kangaroo! ) strikes just the right note in this soothing book about a boy and his beloved old dog, who one night goes to sleep and wakes up in Heaven. There Daisy—who can once again run fast—finds flower-filled gardens and "lots of new and old friends." Looking down from the sky at her sad young master, distressed Daisy asks her canine pals for advice, and they respond, "Send him dreams." When Daisy shows the sleeping boy how she frolics with her friends in Heaven, he cheers up somewhat, but Daisy "could see he was missing her." The other dogs then instruct her to "Give him a new puppy dream.... Show you don't mind." In the tale's most affecting picture, Arthur smiles in his sleep as his dream reveals Daisy descending upon his bed, carrying a puppy in her mouth. Arthur cheerfully accepts a previously rejected offer to get another dog and drives with his parents "out into the countryside, where the new puppies were." The lad chooses a tiny pooch (identical to the one in his dream) and announces, "I'm going to call her Maisy, after Daisy." Readers wary of replacing a lost pet may be further comforted by the finale: now Daisy can "really enjoy herself" in Heaven—yet still keep an eye on Arthur and Maisy. An uplifting tale for any animal lover. Ages 2-5. (Mar.)