From the Publisher
"Sweet's beautifully detailed artwork, in watercolor and mixed-media, is packed with feeling and story." Booklist Starred, Jan 1 2008 Booklist, ALA, Starred Review
"[A] winsome tale laced with doggy humor...Fans of the popular stray-animal genre will bid her godspeed." Kirkus 3/15/08 Kirkus Reviews
"...crowded scenes in cheery watercolors and mixed media showcase Sweet's unusually expressive canine cast." PW 4/21/08 Publishers Weekly
"...Sweet is a gifted storyteller, working magic in this story." Buffalo News
An idiosyncratic mash-up of canine lore, astronomy and the romance of the railroad, Sweet's (Carmine) tale wandersmuch like its titular character. Callously abandoned by the side of the road, a forlorn dog named Tupelo searches for a new home. She finds kindred spirits in a pack of dogs known as the BONEHEADS (the Benevolent Order of Nature's Exalted Hounds Earnest and Doggedly Sublime), who trust a friendly hobo known as Garbage Pail Tex to escort them, via boxcar, to better lives. Though events don't initially turn out as hoped, Tupelo eventually discovers where, and with whom, she belongs. The narrative momentum goes off track with a subplot about wishing on Sirius, the Dog Star. The small, crowded scenes in cheery watercolors and mixed media showcase Sweet's unusually expressive canine cast. A bounty of design extras include several fold-out spreads, a detailed timeline in dog years of dog heroes (from Balto to Lassie, from Old Yeller to Superman's dog, Krypto) and elegant endpapers featuring various constellations in the night sky. Ages 6-10. (Apr.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Children's Literature - Ken and Sylvia Marantz
After the lively dog Tupelo is dumped by the side of the road with only her sock toy Mr. Bones, she must find a place for herself. Following her nose, she arrives at the Benevolent Order of Nature's Exalted Hounds Earnest and Doggedly Sublime during a bone burying ritual. The group of dogs is sending their wishes to Sirius the Dog Star. All hope for good homes. In the lengthy but lively and at times mystical text, Tupelo and the BONEHEADS hop a train with hobo Garbage Pail Tex. When they arrive in Hoboken, all the other dogs find homes, but Tupelo is left alone. She makes her wish and buries Mr. Bones. When she boards another train, she is delighted to meet Tex again. He has dug up a redolent Mr. Bones; they can now "travel the world together, side by side…with a little stench." The story is shown in a series of frames that focus on the dogs but supply contextual details. For example, one fold-out page shows that all the dogs are wishing for new homes, while another shows each dog going off to a new home. The most moving scene shows Tupelo gazing up at the night sky in an empty landscape. The deft, simplified, colored illustrations tell the sentimental story with quiet conviction. The significance of the Dog Star Sirius is explained in a note, while the importance of Sirius to the dogs is emphasized in the star maps on the end pages and the fold-out where the dogs make their wishes to the star. Another fascinating fold-out is a time line that traces the history of dogs, including famous canines up to the present. Reviewer: Ken and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3- A winsome story, full of lore and legend. Tupelo, a dog, is in search of a home with her sock toy, Mr. Bones. Fortunately, she meets up with the Bonehead gang, canines who, wishing upon the Dog Star, bury their bones and hope for the best. A tenderhearted hobo, Garbage Pail Tex, cares for the pack, riding the rails and finding homes (new and old) for his friends. The book opens with a time line of famous pups such as Argos, Odysseus's pet who waited "147 dog years for his master to return." Fans of the author's Carmine (Houghton, 2005) will immediately recognize the playful watercolor and mixed-media illustrations. As the dogs settle down for a long night's rail ride, Garbage Pail Tex conjures up the heroic tales of Lassie, Dorothy's Toto, and Superman's Krypto; and ends with a lullaby, "Oh give me a bone/and a yard I can roam...." No lean kibble, this book is packed with such meaty morsels as a map of the heavens, a note on the constellation Canis Major, cartoon collages, and a faux film-clip insert of Lassie. This is a richly rewarding book about the power of wishful thinking and kindness toward those most vulnerable. Tupelo is a sweet howl.-Teresa Pfeifer, Alfred Zanetti Montessori Magnet School, Springfield, MA Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
In a winsome tale laced with doggy humor, an abandoned canine tags along with a pack of other four-legged fellows searching for new homes, before finding a companion to call her own. Left by the roadside with only her "skanky" sock puppet for company, plucky Tupelo follows her nose to a motley posse of lost BONEHEADS (Benevolent Order of Nature's Exalted Hounds Earnest And Doggedly Sublime) engaged in the ancient ritual of making wishes on Sirius, the Dog Star. Those wishes soon come true, thanks to the efforts of aptly named hobo Garbage Pail Tex, but in the general scurry of adoptions Tupelo is left alone again. Sweet depicts Tupelo's odyssey with a mix of sequential panels, full-page scenes and occasional foldouts, all sandwiched between star-strewn endpapers and a timeline laid out in dog years. In the end Tupelo hops aboard a passing train, and Tex himself sits down beside her-so off the two go, "like Sirius and Orion," to travel the world together "with a little stench." Fans of the popular stray-animal genre will bid her godspeed. (Picture book. 6-8)