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Review of DOG BLUE by Polly Dunbar

by Becky Laney

Dunbar, Polly. 2004. DOG BLUE. Cambridge, MA.: Candlewick. ISBN 0763624764.

Written and illustrated by Polly Dunbar, DOG BLUE is the story of a young boy, Bertie, on a quest to find the perfect pet dog. The story and illustrations are simple yet effective in conveying Bertie's hopes, dreams, disappointments, and ultimately his satisfaction. "Bertie loved blue. He had a blue sweater, a blue dog collar, blue shoes, but no blue dog. What Bertie wanted more than anything in the whole wide world was a dog. A blue dog." In the remaining pages, the reader watches as Bertie first pretends to have an imaginary blue dog, then pretends that he is a blue dog, before ultimately finding the perfect "blue" dog--a black and white spotted dog named Blue. Using repetition and alliteration (the "b" sound in particular), DOG BLUE makes a great read aloud for younger children. Bertie is an imaginative child with an amazing capacity to solve his own problems creatively.

The illustrations of DOG BLUE match the text perfectly. Both are simple yet charming and in many ways are reminiscent of older illustration styles such as HAROLD AND THE PURPLE CRAYON or THE CARROT SEED.

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