Booklist (March 1, 2012 (Vol. 108, No. 13))
Grades 4-6. In Hest’s Remembering Mrs. Rossi (2007), readers met Annie Rossi, who had just lost her mother. Now, a year later, the fourth-grader and her father are doing better, helped by the presence of their new dog, Leo. Taking a page from the Wimpy Kid sketchbook, Hest does a charming job making Annie (and Leo!) come alive through a series of letters and drawings she makes for the dog. Leo gets to hear about how Annie doesn’t care for her new teacher, how she loves her third-grade teacher, how poetry can make you feel surprising things, what it’s like to have a best friend move away, and how to deal with her dad, who doesn’t get out much (perhaps that third-grade teacher is the answer). Ready-made for reluctant readers, who will be enticed by the art-heavy format and the short bursts of text, this book will also be a good choice for fans of Sara Pennypacker’s Clementine series or Megan McDonald’s Judy Moody books.