Little Dog, Lost
Little Dog, Lost

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Annotation: A boy, a dog, and an old man are lonely before the boy plans a rally, the dog looks for a boy, and all the townspeople run to the old man's aid when lightning strikes his home and something miraculous happens.
Catalog Number: #71067
Format: Perma-Bound Edition
All Formats: Search
Publisher: Atheneum
Copyright Date: 2012
Edition Date: 2013
Illustrator: Bell, Jennifer
Pages: 197 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 1-442-43424-4 Perma-Bound: 0-605-71535-1
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-1-442-43424-0 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-71535-6
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2011034024
Dimensions: 22 cm.
Language: English
Horn Book
More than anything, Mark wants a dog. His mom, the town's mayor, says no. More than anything, dog Buddy wants a boy. But hers has moved away. More than anything, shy Charles Larue wants to belong. But the town has labeled him as odd and shunned him. A chance thunderstorm fixes all their problems in this somewhat trite but sweet verse novel.
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
When her loving family--especially the boy who kisses her on the lips--moves to the city, Buddy is re-homed with a clueless though kind woman while a dog-loving boy yearns for a mutt of his own. Long, thin lines of free-verse text scroll invitingly down the mostly white pages. This tender, engaging effort economically captures the winsome attitude of Buddy, whose "ears like airplane wings" now sag. She spends her days peering through her new owner's fence, watching despondently for her missing boy and finally resolving to go find him. Mark, who lives in the same town, feels his life is empty without the dog he desperately needs but his mother won't permit. And there is shy Charles Larue, the aging caretaker of a nearby mansion, who spends his lonely days waiting for something--anything--to bring meaning to his life. How these three needy creatures will come together is predictable but wholly satisfying nonetheless. Bauer describes the little dog joyfully chasing a ball: "She rose and rose / as though her hind legs were springs, / as though her front ones were wings." The description just as aptly captures the heartening nature of this attractive tale, which is enhanced with Bell's pleasant black-and-white illustrations. A perfect selection for pet lovers new to chapter books and anyone who just enjoys a cheerful dog story. (Verse fiction. 8-12)
Starred Review ALA Booklist
*Starred Review* A stray on the streets of the small town of Erthly, little dog Buddy remembers her happy bond with a boy, whose family moved away to a city apartment where there was no room for Buddy. Then Buddy's new owner shooed her out, and she left, head low, / tail tucked, / airplane ears sagging. But Buddy is not the only stray in Erthly who is lonely and lost: So many lives / filled / with longing. There is Charles Larue, a shy, reclusive caretaker of a mansion. Does he have a dark secret? And then there is Mark, a young boy whose father took off before he was born, who desperately wants a dog and falls instantly, helplessly in love with Buddy, feeling the snuffle of warm breath / against his palm. But Mark's mother, who is mayor of Erthly, says no to a pet. The town kids want a dog park, and they organize a rally to support their cause, but can Mark confront his mom? Illustrated with occasional, expressive black-and-white drawings, mostly from Buddy's viewpoint of the world from the ground up, the rapid, immediate free verse will grab readers first with the longing and loneliness and then, in contrast, the boy and dog in bliss. Great for sharing with pet lovers.
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
Starred Review ALA Booklist
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
Horn Book
Word Count: 16,068
Reading Level: 4.4
Interest Level: P-2
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 4.4 / points: 2.0 / quiz: 151578 / grade: Middle Grades
Lexile: 710L

Little dog,


Little black dog with brown paws

and a brown mask

and a sweet ruffle of brown fur on her bum

just beneath her black whip of a tail.

Satiny coat.

Ears like airplane wings

that drop

just at the tips.

She used to be called Buddy

until no one called her anything at all.

“Hey, you!” maybe.

Or “Shoo!”

Names to run from.

Buddy wasn’t always lost.

Once she owned a boy.

It was the boy who named her.

(“I know she’s a girl,” he’d say,

“but she’s my buddy anyway.”)

Her boy threw a ball


and again

and again

until Buddy flopped

onto her belly

in the tickling grass

and dropped

the ball

between her paws,

her tongue as limp




Come and get it, her grin always said,

and then I’ll chase some more.

The boy used to take Buddy’s pointy face

between his hands

and kiss her on the lips,

just like that.

When Buddy was quick,

she could get in a lick

at the exact moment

of the kiss.

The boy would say, “Arghhh!”

and wipe his mouth

with the back of his hand.

Then he’d kiss Buddy

on the lips


In short,

Buddy and her boy

were perfectly matched

and perfectly happy


But nothing,

not even the sweetest love,

can be certain

of lasting


Excerpted from Little Dog, Lost by Marion Dane Bauer
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

A “wholly satisfying” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review) novel in verse starring a boy, a lost dog, and a lonely old man, from Newbery Honoree Marion Dane Bauer

Mark is a boy who needs a dog. But he can’t get his mom on board with his plan.

Buddy is a dog who needs a boy. Buddy has an owner already, but not one who understands what a dog really needs.

Mr. LaRue is a neighbor who needs a community. He’s alone all the time in his huge old house—and everyone needs more than that.

Over the course of a summer thunderstorm and one chaotic town council meeting, these three characters cross paths and come together in a timeless tale ripe with emotions. They’ll realize they all need the same things: love, understanding, and a sense of belonging—plus a place to play a game of fetch!

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