cover image Stay: A Girl, a Dog, a Bucket List

Stay: A Girl, a Dog, a Bucket List

Kate Klise, illus. by M. Sarah Klise. Feiwel and Friends, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978

Who says bucket lists are just for humans? Not the Klise sisters (Grammy Lamby and the Secret Handshake), who gracefully trace a girl’s growing awareness of her dog’s impending death. When Astrid’s parents bring their newborn daughter home from the hospital, Eli, a shaggy dog, is waiting patiently, her “first friend.” M. Sarah Klise’s evocative acrylics amplify the matter-of-fact narrative, showing Astrid growing taller and more active as Eli slows down. But Astrid takes a proactive approach to the inevitable, making a list, she tells Eli, “of all the things you should do before you get too old.” Together, they visit the library and movie theater (Lassie is playing), sleep under the stars, and even enjoy spaghetti and meatballs in a restaurant, but readers will gradually come to understand that the way Astrid and Eli have been spending their time is less important than the fact that they’ve spent it together. The Klises close with an image of girl and dog watching the sunset over the water, a moment that—like the book as a whole—is both emotionally restrained and full of feeling. Ages 3–5. (July)