Chester

Overview

Chester loves his family and wants nothing more than to spend time with them. But work and school are keeping the family extremely busy and Chester is taking a backseat. When the family forgets to take him for his walk, again, Chester decides he's had enough: It's time to find a new home.

But when Chester is turned away by a flock of forest birds and taken in by a wealthy woman who treats him more like a toy than a dog, Chester soon discovers that old homes are not so easily ...

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Overview

Chester loves his family and wants nothing more than to spend time with them. But work and school are keeping the family extremely busy and Chester is taking a backseat. When the family forgets to take him for his walk, again, Chester decides he's had enough: It's time to find a new home.

But when Chester is turned away by a flock of forest birds and taken in by a wealthy woman who treats him more like a toy than a dog, Chester soon discovers that old homes are not so easily replaced. Ayano Imai presents a quirky tale for anyone who ever thought the grass was greener on the other side.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Chester the dog’s family has been making him feel unwanted, so on the day they forget to take him for a walk he sets off to find a new home where he will not be forgotten. First he tries the edge of the forest, but the birds there reject him. In the big city, no one wants to take him in. A very rich lady who has lost her dog finally takes him to her luxurious house, where he is so well treated he gets tired of feeling like a doll, but when he runs away, he finds himself out in the rain, cold and lonely. Fortunately his family members, who have been searching for him, find him. They do not forget his walks again. Chester is an unusual dog; we meet him on the jacket in bed, reading a book, and outside carrying a hanging light. When he leaves home, he carries his dog house with him, as do a variety of pooches on the end-papers. The full-page illustrations depict his adventures in far from naturalistic settings, while vignettes on facing pages add amusing, sometimes surreal details, like birds hanging out wash to dry on a clothesline. His discomfort being catered to is as clear as his comfort back at the family table. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 1
Chester, a black-and-white dog, likes his family, but they are so busy that hey forget to take him on his daily walks. Sadly, he decides to find another home and leaves, carrying his doghouse on his head, with his friend, a bird, perched on top. He learns quickly that his task will not be easy: the forest birds don't want him disturbing their peace and the city is too big and uncaring. After being taken in by a rich lady who pampers him and treats him "like a toy," the pup flees her mansion and finds his family; they have been searching for him all along. Chester and the bird settle down again at home, where he is treated just right. This slight story is made special by rather quirky soft pastel illustrations, created in the style of Lane Smith or Yumi Heo. The pictures offer much to look at and are packaged in an elegant format with lots of white space. The endpapers show many dogs toting their houses and looking for a home. Children will have fun finding the bird in each picture, although it is never mentioned in the text. A pleasant, but not essential purchase.
—Judith ConstantinidesCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Kirkus Reviews
Delicate, impressionistic illustrations and an understated text convey the story of Chester, a black-and-white dog who is not appreciated by his busy family. Because he feels unwanted, Chester packs up his doghouse and his leash and sadly sets out to find a new home. After an unsatisfying stay in a penthouse with too much pampering, Chester is found by his family, who have been searching everywhere for him. They are full of remorse at his disappearance and change their ways so that their dog feels loved and cared for. This simply told but meaningful story will resonate with children who themselves might feel a little underappreciated, and though the premise is not new, the story is told in a fresh and satisfying way. Imai's illustrations are a delight, in a soft, dreamy palette with a hint of mystery. Touches of the fantastic are waiting to be spotted: Chester carries his own doghouse under his arm for his whole journey, a dog sheds tears and flowers grow up through the tablecloth when a family is reunited. (Picture book. 3-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780698400627
  • Publisher: Minedition
  • Publication date: 9/20/2007
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.60 (w) x 11.54 (h) x 0.35 (d)

Meet the Author

Ayano Imai lives in Chiba, Japan.

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