Lester's Dog

Lester's Dog

by Karen Hesse, Nancy Carpenter
     
 

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Illus. in full color. "A sensitive story about a boy who, with the help of a deaf freind, conquers his fear of a neighbor's dog that bit him years earlier. In the process, he saves a kitten and befriends an elderly, recently widowed man. Carpenter's pictures give vivid life to Hesse's gripping story, set in a 1940s neighborhood. Children will beg to tell their own… See more details below

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Overview

Illus. in full color. "A sensitive story about a boy who, with the help of a deaf freind, conquers his fear of a neighbor's dog that bit him years earlier. In the process, he saves a kitten and befriends an elderly, recently widowed man. Carpenter's pictures give vivid life to Hesse's gripping story, set in a 1940s neighborhood. Children will beg to tell their own stories after hearing this one."—(starred) School Library Journal.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This atmospheric picture book memorably evokes the long summer evenings of a bygone era, then broadens in scope to convey a boy's sudden courage and the warmth of friendship. The young narrator peppers his story with the inflections and observations of youth (``We walk down the hill on our toes to keep from going too fast'') in this vivid, vibrant text, full of unexpected word choices (``Mama scoots me out of the house,'' ``My legs feel like they're dragging bricks''). Soft pictures are dreamily nostalgic yet their vision is acutely realistic. Thus they capture fear, a ferocious dog, movement in the still heat and shadows beyond the reaches of the sun, all the while complementing the good-hearted tone of the text. The story line is spare--the boy and Corey, his hearing-impaired friend, must pass by a vicious dog on a quest to rescue a trapped kitten. The narrator overcomes his horror of the dog and brightens a widower's day with his gift of the kitten. This unassuming tale shimmers with wisdom and persuasive intelligence. Ages 4-7. (Oct.)
School Library Journal
Gr 1-3-A sensitive story about a boy who, with the help of a deaf friend, conquers his fear of a neighbor's dog that bit him years earlier. In the process, he saves a kitten and befriends an elderly, recently widowed man. Carpenter's pictures give vivid life to Hesse's gripping story, set in a 1940s neighborhood. The prose reverberates with powerful words-the dog ``lunges,'' ``swaggers,'' and ``hunkers''; the kitten is a ``tiny fist of fur, knotted up''; the child's legs ``feel like loose Jell-O.'' The old man's lonely look focuses into one of loving concern when he sees and holds the homeless kitten. And the young hero, with a little help from his friend, knows he has faced down a demon. Children will beg to tell their own stories after hearing this one.-Ruth Semrau, Lovejoy School, Allen, TX
Hazel Rochman
On a hot summer day in a small town, a boy tells how his hearing-impaired friend, Corey, leads him on a hard journey past a neighbor's scary dog and across a busy road to rescue an abandoned kitten. The boy doesn't want to take the kitten--his mother is allergic; what will he do with it?--but Corey doesn't hear the objections. What's more, on the way back, with the kitten to protect, the boy stands up to the vicious dog and drives him off. Hesse lets the boy tell the story quietly. He's frank about his fear, matter-of-fact about Corey's disability (the kitten's paw catches in the wire of Corey's hearing aid, but he just holds the kitten to his ear, "like he was listening to the sea"). The physicalness of the writing (the kitten is "a tiny fist of fur, knotted up") is expressed in the sunlit illustrations, many in warm shades of brown. The perspective shifts as the boys look down at the tiny kitten, as the huge dog chases the terrified boy, as he stands tall and furious with the kitten above his head, and finally as he walks down the road with his arm across his friend Corey's shoulders.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780517583579
Publisher:
Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
09/07/1993
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
8.30(w) x 10.29(h) x 0.34(d)
Lexile:
AD760L (what's this?)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

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