cover image Lost and Found: Three Dog Stories

Lost and Found: Three Dog Stories

Jim LaMarche, . . Chronicle, $17.99 (48pp) ISBN 978-0-8118-6401-5

LaMarche's (Up ) gentle artwork distinguishes this collection, gracefully rendering the special bond between dogs and children. In the first story, Anna's retriever Molly leads the way home after the girl runs off in anger and gets lost; in the second, Jules enjoys a happy reunion with his pet Ginger after the scruffy dog disappears in the woods. Jack finds a husky named Yuki, whose owner gives Jack's single mother a fresh start in the final tale. LaMarche reports events simply (“Molly sniffed the ground. She sniffed the air. Then she looked back at Anna and wagged her tail”), and the action centers on the children, who show initiative and persistence. Some readers may find the characters a little goody-goody, while others may see them as simply innocent and free of irony. What's indisputable is LaMarche's talent as a draftsman. The soft colors of autumn unite the stories visually, and the pages are full of activity. Even the endpapers are covered with portraits of the dogs, as though LaMarche's love for them has overflowed beyond the bounds of the stories. Ages 4–8. (Aug.)