From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 3—Amelia wants a dog. When her persistent requests are repeatedly denied, she begins to pretend that she has a dog named "Bones," and gradually her mother and father go along with the game. Then, when her pet "gets lost," there is nothing for them to do but help Amelia find him. The search leads to an animal shelter and a real Bones to take home. The final spread, "Amelia's Guide to Getting Your First Dog," dispels any doubt that the child's actions were deliberate. Amelia is an endearing character, and Hunter's portrayal of her perfectly matches Stuve-Bodeen's text. The digitally enhanced, cheery pictures are airy and use simple shapes and colors. The almost comic-book format takes the eye quickly from one part of the page to another, leading readers through the story. This title is a good choice for a one-on-one read-aloud or for children to enjoy on their own.—Donna Cardon, Provo City Library, UT
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Rarely have children been offered such a devious strategy for landing a mutt. Amelia’s daily refrain is unusually specific: “May I have a small brown dog with a wet pink nose?” She has doggy scrapbooks, doggy slippers, and even doggy diagrams (complete with arrows indicating both the animal’s smallness as well as the pinkness of its nose). Her parents gamely answer her questions about naming, walking, feeding, and sleeping with a dog, and they even admit that if a dog was lost, they’d look for it. The next day, Amelia acts as if an invisible dog now lives with them. Illustrated with dotted lines, this pretend pooch then gets “lost,” at which point Amelia convinces her parents to search for him at the animal shelter . . . and you can see where this is headed. The concepts are complicated but clear, and Hunter’s patterned illustrations are appropriately unpredictable, with nearly every page design different from the last. Plenty for kids to pore over while hatching their insidious plots. Grades K-2. --Daniel Kraus