The Blue House Dog, by Deborah Blumenthal, Peachtree Publishing, 2010, $15.95, children 4-8.
Bones, a German Shepherd Dog mix with one brown eye and one sapphire blue eye, used to live with an old man in an ocean blue house. When the old man dies, Bones becomes the neighborhood stray.
“When you lose someone who’s as close as your own skin, the only place you can find him again is hidden inside your memories,” Bones seems to whimper so softly.
This is the heart-warming story of how a boy slowly adopts the neighborhood stray after his own canine best friend dies and how Bones adopts the boy who feeds him.
This is the story that shows how only ‘slow and gentle’ works with dogs. Blue House Dog can open a conversation about how dogs show their feelings through their actions and body language.
Season follows season and finally, “Bones comes around every day now.”
“Each day he stays a little longer.”
Bones becomes Blue, complete with a blue bandana, but he is no longer blue because now he has a boy to call his own.
“Dogs find their way inside you and you want to keep them there.”
Young readers will try to find Bones depicted on nearly every page and will smile wisely when they do. The illustrations are reminiscent of books from 50 or more years ago full of primary colors – red, yellow, and, of course, blue!
(This review appeared in Yankee Dog, Fall 2010, and GRREAT News Jul-Aug 2010.)