From School Library Journal
Starred Review. Grade 1–3—In this old-fashioned tale, two lonely souls set out on a heartfelt quest to find a true friend. A chipper little dog with crooked ears, who is "a perfectly nice fellow," travels from town to town looking for "a porch with a soft light" and hoping one day to belong to someone. At the same time, "a wisp of a girl" named Lia spends her Sundays on her bicycle, delivering her parents' baked goods throughout the town. She pedals up high hills past other children playing outside and tells herself stories to offset her sense of isolation. "The stories were like friends on her long ride to town." On a stormy day, both Lia and the dog are caught in a drenching rain. The pup runs and runs while the girl pedals and pedals through the bad weather, each racing toward the edge of town where Lia's parents wait on their softly lit porch. Lia and the little dog rush inside where they find bread and cake and warm towels. So begins a lasting friendship. The pencil and watercolor illustrations, featuring a palette of golden earth tones, echo the gentle sentiment of the narrative. Lia in her blue dress, pinafore, and jaunty cap and the bright-eyed little dog evoke tender sympathy. Pair this sweet title with Jill Newsome's Night Walk
(Clarion, 2002).—Linda L. Walkins, Mount Saint Joseph Academy, Brighton, MA
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*Starred Review* A “wisp of a girl named Lia” and a small alley dog are the principal players in this touching story. The friendly dog wanders about town, but no matter how helpful he is, no one ever pays him much attention. Lia is a lonesome girl who dreams up stories to serve as friends as she goes about her day. A fierce storm propels the two toward a serendipitous meeting, to the delight of both, and thereafter they “belonged to each other.” The pencil-and-watercolor artwork is homey and handsome, presented in glowing sepia tones that suggest simpler times and quieter lives, until the storm washes the pages in deep and forbidding grays. Throughout the book, the little pup is irresistibly, almost heartbreakingly cute—too cute to stay unloved for long. The lesson, that you may not know you’re missing something until you find it, makes this simple and eloquent story especially suitable for children who hold out hope for the day when that perfect dog will cross their paths and warm their own homes. Preschool-Grade 1. --Ian Chipman