Hey, Boy – Benjamin Strouse, illustrated by Jennifer Phelan

  Hey, Boy – Benjamin Strouse, illustrated by Jennifer Phelan, Margaret K. McElderry Books, (9781481471015), 2017

Format: Hardcover

Rating: 1- 5 (5 is excellent or a Starred review)  4

Genre:   Picture Book

What did you like about the book?  This is a poignant tale of a little boy and a stray dog that may cause emotional readers to reach for a box of tissues.  A little boy brings a stray dog home and “That night, the boy told the dog about the adventures they would have and the games they would play.”  But when the little boy breaks his arm his mom decides he is not grown up enough to take care of the dog. The spare illustrations in retro tones against an off- white background perfectly complement the tone of the story.   In a heartbreaking illustration the little boy says goodbye and leaves the little black dog sadly looking out through the bars at the shelter.  Fortunately, the dog is adopted and the new owners allow the boy to visit with the dog.  The boy tries hard to grow up fast, but, as adults know, it takes a lot of time.  The boy’s visits grow further apart until one day he is contacted by the dog’s owners.  They feel they have gotten too old to take care of the dog.  Finally, the boy, now a young man. is reunited with the dog.  The book ends as it began with the grown up boy telling the now greying dog about all the adventures they will have.  This one will tug the heartstrings of animal lovers.  

Anything you didn’t like about it?  No

To whom would you recommend this book?  Hand this to readers who are emotionally mature enough to enjoy this story of the love between a child and a dog.  

Who should buy this book?  Public libraries

Where would you shelve it? Picture Books

Should we (librarians/readers) put this at the top of our “to read” piles? No

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City:  Catherine Coyne, Mansfield Public Library, Mansfield, MA

Date of review: 7/29/17             


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