Friday, August 15, 2008

The Dog Who Belonged to No One by Amy Hest

The Dog Who Belonged to No One
By Amy Hest
Illustrated by Amy Bates

This is a perfect read-a-loud story. Illustrator and author have collaborated brilliantly to create a composition on paper that could be a musical on film. The words are fluid and flow easily as you read, while old time pictures move to keep up with the text. When I look at the faces in the pictures done with pencil and watercolor, they are detailed and expressive. Together with the text, Hest and Bates create mood that will capture your heart.

A little dog with crooked ears and a little girl named Lia, who lives in a crooked house are both looking for a friend. They both travel everywhere looking but have no luck. You feel sympathy for the dog when he runs from the night, or a storm. At the same time, in the same town, Lia tries to out run the storm and the night to get to the safety of her crooked house.

I would use this book for readers workshop when discussing authors’ craft.
Hest uses repetition of words, “Run, run, run,” to show motion. She also uses repetition with entire phrases and sentences as they get closer to discovering each other at Lia’s crooked house. Descriptive language makes this a perfect choice for teaching elaboration.

What a wonderful story about loneliness and finding friendship when you least expect it. This would be an appropriate read aloud for K-4 and read alone at any age. An adorable and touching story of loneliness and finding a friend. I strongly recommend The Dog Who Belonged to No One.

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