Ahh, its the good life for Buster, a red, pointy-nosed dog. He has his own dishes (with his name painted in curvy letters), a big grassy yard, an in-and-out flap on the back door, and "Brown Shoes," who takes Buster to the park any time he wants. But on the day Brown Shoes brings home a big box--which does not
contain sausages or fancy French cheeses, as Buster hopes--life takes a dramatic turn for the worse. Enter Betty, a fluffy white kitten, who doesnt seem to realize that Buster is scared of cats. When she starts purring and winding around Busters legs, he freezes: "Buster was terrified. He was afraid to move. 'If I ignore her,' thought Buster, 'maybe shell go away.'" Of course, she doesnt, so Buster does. Running off to a park across town, Buster has a lovely day... until he realizes he has no idea how to get back home again. Can you guess who comes to the rescue?
Denise Flemings distinctive artistic style, as seen in such earlier picture books as The Everything Book and Alphabet Under Construction , uses pulp painting to create lush, rich pages thickly covered in color and texture. The picture book is divided into six titled "chapters," giving younger readers a feel for early chapter books, and includes a map of Buster's route home. Charming--highly recommended! (Ages 4 to 7) --Emilie Coulter
From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 2-Buster, a red-coated pooch, has everything he wants out of life, including personalized food dishes and a comfortable backyard with all the amenities. However, when his owner brings home a fluffy white kitten, the dog's world falls to pieces. No matter how hard Betty tries to make friends, Buster remains terrified of her. Fed up, he slips under the fence, finds his way to an unfamiliar park, and enjoys a peaceful, feline-free afternoon. Finally ready to head home, he realizes that he is lost and experiences a few frightening moments until Betty comes to his rescue. After receiving an affectionate welcome from the kitten, Buster realizes that he has "-everything he could ever want-and more." Fleming's trademark handmade-paper artwork is awash with vibrant colors and dazzling details. Body language and expressive facial features establish the personalities and reflect the emotions of the characters. A mix of double-page pictures and smaller vignettes sets the scene and keeps the action moving quickly. An eagle's-eye map of Buster's route home will have children following each twist and turn. Divided into six titled sections, this picture book has the pace and feel of a beginning chapter book. The format, as well as the use of repetitive language, makes this heartwarming tale a good choice for emergent readers, while the eye-catching illustrations make it perfect for either groups or one-on-one sharing.Joy Fleishhacker, formerly at School Library Journal
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