Making Scents

illus. by Braden Lamb & Shelli Paroline. 112p. First Second. Jun. 2017. Tr $15.99. ISBN 9781596434523.
Gr 2–5—Foundling Mickey had a very happy, if somewhat unusual, childhood. A loving couple who raised bloodhounds adopted him and taught him to think of the dogs as his siblings and to develop his own sense of smell to an extraordinary degree. When Mickey's parents unexpectedly die, he is sent to live with his mother's estranged sister and her husband, a childless older couple who hate dogs and don't understand Mickey. Now Mickey must cope not only with his grief but also the expectations of his new family, who demand he behave like a conventional boy. The artwork effectively conveys the book's 1950s setting. Illustrations outlined in ink on single-color panels with an occasional swirl of pink to indicate various scents immerse readers in Mickey's world. The characters are distinct and expressive, and the action flows well.
VERDICT Children who have experienced loss will relate to this warm and slightly fantastical tale. A solid choice for most graphic novel collections.

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