Tuesday, September 18, 2012


Booklist starred (April 15, 2012 (Vol. 108, No. 16))

Preschool-Grade 2. Homer is an old dog. Younger dogs in the family rush off to race around the yard, and humans bustle past on their way to play in the sand or swim in the waves, but Homer is content to watch from the porch: “No, no. I’m fine right here.” His own needs are simple—he has food, a comfy blue armchair, and his people. The text is minimal, and most of Homer’s story is told through Cooper’s loose, watercolor-and-pencil images in his signature, spare style. Many pictures appear inside borders and emphasize Homer’s small, contained world, while full-bleed, wordless pages open up to give context to his life. A six-paneled spread is particularly wonderful: Homer moves slowly from the porch to his food bowl to his armchair, and the panels reinforce his measured movements. The day’s passage from sunrise to evening is reflected in a muted palette of yellow, orange, and indigo, and it seems somehow symbolic of Homer’s own life cycle. Repeated readings will reveal new details, such as the family portrait on the wall, with Homer front and center. This subtle picture book beautifully captures the rhythms of a family, with a dog nestled at its heart.

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