Daniel's Dog

Daniel's Dog

by Jo Ellen Bogart

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School Library Journal - School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1-- Daniel's new sister can't throw a ball, play catch, or even talk; worse yet, she occupies much of his mother's attention. Feeling neglected, Daniel turns to the companionship of a friendly ghost dog sent from his grandfather in heaven. As he begins to realize that there is room in his mother's heart for both himself and his sister, his dependence on the dog lessens. The story reads well, and the vibrant illustrations of the young black protagonist are remarkably lifelike. Crayon-hued borders outline the text, which is well spaced and easy to read. The warm family atmosphere is nicely captured, particularly in a tableau of Daniel reading aloud while his mother nurses the baby. The book, however, is not without flaws. Although Bogart attributes her use of a ghost dog to African-American folklore, in which canine spirits representing departed loved ones play a comforting role, Daniel's explanation of the dog's arrival from heaven seems contrived. When he offers another imaginary dog to a sad friend, Daniel seems wise beyond his years. The final page, depicting Daniel still leaning on the ghost dog, is surprising, given his growing acceptance of the baby. Still, this is fine book gracefully covers topics ranging from the arrival of a new sibling to imaginary companions to the resolution of inner conflict. --Anna DeWind, Milwaukee Public Library

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Scholastic, Inc.
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