Tank’s Forever Home

North Star Bks. (Doggie Daycare Set 2). Sept. 2020. 48p. Tr $24.27. ISBN 9781631634680; pap. $6.99. ISBN 9781631634697.
Gr 1-3–While passing by a bookstore with friends Sasha and Mitchell, siblings Kat and Shawn encounter a stray bullmastiff behind a dumpster. With some help from Stella, who works at a nearby animal rescue, the foursome brings the dog back to the shelter and names him Tank. Kat and Shawn then find the perfect home for Tank with an elderly neighbor named Mrs. Tanaka, who lives alone and misses her Great Dane. The siblings are conflicted when the dog’s caretaker, Mr. Nguyen, turns up. However, Mr. Nguyen is unable to give Tank the attention he needs, and Mrs. Tanaka can adopt the dog after all. The book is designed with large type and features a racially inclusive cast of characters: Kat and Shawn are Korean American (as is the author); Sasha and Mitchell have brown skin and black hair; Mr. Nguyen and Mrs. Tanaka are of eastern Asian heritage; and Stella is white. While full pages of text and selected vocabulary may challenge some emergent readers (e.g. “assisted living,” “responsibility,” “disappeared”), the book may be a good choice for fans of series like “Katie Woo” or “King & Kayla” who are ready to take the next step in their reading. Black-and-white spot illustrations accompany the text and are rendered in a wide-eyed cartoon style.
VERDICT This warm, sweet story is sure to please young dog lovers.

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