Good Rosie!

Good Rosie! illus. by Harry Bliss. 40p. Candlewick. Sept. 2018. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780763689797.
OrangeReviewStarPreS-Gr 1—Rosie the terrier loves her owner, George, but she feels lonely. Realizing that his pet needs to befriend other canines, George takes her to the park. But Rosie doesn't know any of these dogs, and she doesn't like Maurice, a hulking, drooly St. Bernard, or Fifi, a perky little papillon—at least not at first. Yet when an encounter between the other two dogs almost goes dreadfully wrong, Rosie steps in and discovers she might know more about friendship than she thought. Dividing the book into nine brief parts, author and illustrator allow this quiet graphic novel to unfold slowly. Though Bliss depicts idyllic, verdant parks full of smiling pups, he lets a hint of melancholy creep in as Rosie gazes longingly at dog-shaped clouds in the sky and her own reflection in her empty food dish. DiCamillo's contemplative, understated text perfectly complements Bliss's elegantly composed watercolors. Forging new bonds can be both tantalizing and overwhelming, they acknowledge, but children will feel up to the challenge after seeing Rosie conquer her anxieties.
VERDICT A superb friendship story and a lovely choice for one-on-one sharing, especially with little ones with first-day-of-school jitters.

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