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Coffelt and Tusa have teamed up to create a charming book that meshes text and illustrations seamlessly. A young girl moves back and forth between her divorced parents' homes, along with her canine companion, Fred, who has several bad habits that neither parent appreciates. When the dog wears out his welcome at both homes, the child must forcefully remind the adults that, "Fred stays with me!" and help work out solutions for his naughty behavior. The story unfolds through the voice of the child: "Sometimes I live with my mom. Sometimes I live with my dad. My dog, Fred, stays with me." Her descriptions of what she does at each residence and Fred's constant affection and consistent bad behavior can be read independently by the intended audience. The text, for the most part, appears against a simple white backdrop. Tusa uses gold and brown hues with occasional splashes of red to create a warm tone. The narrator is drawn with a doll-like charm, but it is Fred, with his perky ears and perpetually wagging tail, that holds the most appeal.
—Maura BresnahanCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Posted March 23, 2009
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