Home is Where the Heart is – Cam Higgins, illustrated by Ariel Landy

Home is Where the Heart is (Good Dog, Book 1) – Cam Higgins, illustrated by Ariel Landy. Little Simon, 2020. 9781534479012 

Format: Hardcover

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

 Genre: animal fiction

 What did you like about the book?  This adorable new series paints an idyllic picture of farm and family life, as seen from the perspective of Bo, a puppy with a lot of energy and a sweet personality.  Bo describes all of his favorite things about the farm and introduces readers to his human family and his animal friends, while telling a story about a mud bath, a tub bath, and the hunt for a missing treasure.  

After playing in mud with his pig friend Zonks, Bo is brought inside by Imani and Wyatt (his human siblings) to get cleaned up.  In the process, his heart-shaped nametag goes missing, and Bo must search the farm for clues to find it.  He gets help from chickens, sheep, and the dog next door, but King and Diva, two mean-spirited barn cats, try to trick him by sending him to the spooky attic.  Bo bravely climbs to the “up-upstairs” room, and there he gets some assistance from a surprising new group of friends.

This is a promising start to what is sure to be a popular series. Bo’s narration is so cute, and kids will find his understanding of human behavior funny (when he is describing his ‘parents,’ he lets us know that he has them “trained… to give me leftovers when I’ve been good”).  Appealing black and white illustrations enhance nearly every page spread.  

Anything you did not like about the book?  no

 To whom would you recommend this book? It’s a great choice for 1st and 2nd graders who are ready to graduate to chapter books from early reader series like Henry and Mudge, Charlie the Ranch Dog and other animal favorites, but not quite ready for Lily to the Rescue or the like. 

Who should buy this book? Public and elementary school libraries

Where would you shelve it?  Fiction

 Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles?  no

 Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City:  Leigh Russell King, Lincoln Street School, Northborough, Massachusetts.

Date of review: 6/14/2021

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