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Newbery winner Rylant, who debuted as an illustrator with her Everyday board books (1993), offers paintings and text in tribute to "Dog Heaven." Here there are fields to run in, soft beds (made of clouds turned inside out) and "angel children," because "God knows that dogs love children more than anything else in the world." Rylant's childlike acrylic paintings-similar though less practiced than the work of Lucy Cousins-are filled with checkerboard steps, yellow daisies and pink stars. Whether she is aiming for whimsy, albeit self-consciously, or striving to present a genuinely comforting view of heaven is not entirely clear. God, for example, stands like an organ grinder at a biscuit machine, wearing a purple hat and sporting a white mustache. "God has a sense of humor," Rylant tells us, "so He makes His biscuits in funny shapes... kitty-cat biscuits and squirrel biscuits," and "every angel who passes by has a biscuit for a dog" because "every dog becomes a good dog in Dog Heaven." Many will think Rylant's vision appropriately warm and fuzzy; others will consider her on thin ice, psychologically and theologically. Dead animals invisibly return to earth "for a little visit," a development likely to unsettle young mourners; told that dogs in Dog Heaven will be "at the door" when "old friends show up," many children are going to worry about how those old friends got there. All ages.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
PreSchool-Grade 2?Curl up with Rover and take a journey to Dog Heaven, where there are endless fields for running; clear lakes filled with teasing, honking ducks; and loving angel children playing everywhere. There are tasty biscuits shaped like cats and fluffy cloud beds for sleeping, memory trips back to favorite spots and people, and cozy homes with petting hands. Rylant uses simple, comfortable language and an abundance of careful detail to create a place of warmth and happiness. Dressed in colorful clothing and sporting an orange scarf, God is friendly and accessible; he looks after "His dogs," making sure the biscuits are appetizing and the dreams are serene. With their simple shapes and bold lines, the bright acrylic paintings have a childlike appeal. Brush strokes add texture and depth, while unusual color combinations?glowing mixes of oranges, purples, and greens?contribute to the peaceful mood. Canines become part of the landscape; tumbling hills and rounded surfaces reflect the rapid motion of exuberant pooches running breathlessly across endless fields, while pawprints shine brightly beside nighttime stars and decorate the sides of mountains. The reassuring story might comfort a child after the loss of a pet, but this pleasant, imaginary paradise will have a broader appeal to all animal lovers.?Joy Fleishhacker, New York Public Library
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
This book brought a smile to my face in one of the hardest times I ever dealt with when I lost my favorite dog to cancer. Read morePublished 2 days ago by SDD
I first received this as a gift when my Dog had died after being part of the family for 12 years, and my daughter who was taking it very hard and I read this every night for weeks. Read morePublished 3 days ago by Christina Smith
I bought this book for a friend who recently lost their dog and when it arrived I was really dissappointed.Published 4 days ago by L. Alexander
Was loaned this book by a very close friend the day after my true friend of 11 years, Jack passed away. It was truly something that helped me through those first days. Read morePublished 15 days ago by James D. Armstrong
This is not the first time I've purchased this book. I love the simple way reading this book can give comfort after one loses a pet. Read morePublished 20 days ago by Mary M. Fuller
My daughter who lost her beloved dog was comforted by reading this book. Wonderful !Published 22 days ago by Tootsie
This was a gift for my friends and their 2 year old son. Champ was Zach's best friend. He passed over suddenly when they were away on vacation. Read morePublished 24 days ago by Nancy Hisaw
This is simply a beautiful book. Its comforting not only to me, but to my husband and children. We have read it each time we have lost a dog (ours were close in age and all passed... Read morePublished 26 days ago by Seashore Giggles