From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 1–Moka is a good dog who lives a perfect life with Michelle until they read a book about wolves. Suddenly, he feels like a failure. He is inspired to hunt for his food and howl at the moon, so he runs away to the mountains to be as free as a wolf. Kasza's perfect pacing and expressive watercolor illustrations show how the pup's joy at being able to jump, dance, and pee wherever he wants turns to misery as his prey outruns him and a skunk sprays him. Missing Michelle and his former life, he tries howling at the golden moon, and when his cries are answered by some real wolves, he runs home in terror. Children will find themselves captivated by Moka's playful antics and comforted by his return. Children will howl with delight when they meet this engaging pup. Pair this story of adventure and going home again with Gene Zion's Harry the Dirty Dog
(HarperCollins, 1956) for supremely satisfying storytime.–Kristine M. Casper, Huntington Public Library, NY
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PreS-Gr. 2. Just as a white dog with black spots named Harry (as in Harry the Dirty Dog
) once ran away from home for a more exciting life, so does Moka, a white dog with brown spots. When Moka's owner, Michelle, reads aloud from a book about wolves, Moka compares his tame existence to theirs and leaves to try a more wolflike life. With an effective variety of page layouts, the expressive pen-and-watercolor pictures show him dashing off on his adventures, where he jumped and danced and "peed wherever he wanted." But finding food is difficult, and his final goal, to howl like a wolf, proves scary, indeed, as reflected in the large, dark sky that dwarfs the little dog. Thanks to excellent pacing, children will get caught up in the childlike Moka's emotions: the pleasure of being free, the loneliness of night, and the exuberant reunion with Michelle, captured in a large, light-filled close-up. A final twist provides the perfect end to this appealing tale that will lend itself to storytime or one-on-one reading. Kathleen OdeanCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved