Little Dog Lost: The True Story of a
Brave Dog Named Baltic
by Mônica Carnesi; illus. by the author
Preschool, Primary Paulsen/Penguin 32 pp.
1/12 978-0-399-25666-0 $15.99
An edge-of-your-seat adventure story, based on a true story, for the very young — with a text that also works beautifully as a beginning reader for older children. Onlookers along the banks of the Vistula River one cold, cold day in Poland see a little dog adrift on a sheet of ice, heading for open sea. Night passes, then another day; finally, fifteen miles from shore and seventy-five miles from journey’s start, he is spotted by the crew of the research vessel Baltica and, with significant effort, rescued. Simple yet dramatic watercolor illustrations effectively convey the wintry setting; the ice-choked, freezing water; and Dog’s emotions, bewildered and forlorn on the ice, cheerful and contented after his rescue and adoption. The economical text is hyper-engaging. A straightforward descriptive narration (“Dog is wet and tired and hungry. And he is scared”) occasionally switches to the voice of an emotionally involved onlooker (“Don’t be scared, Dog! A ship is coming!”; “Dog slips. He falls into the water. Oh no! Where is Dog?”), as if the text itself finds the story too exciting to maintain objectivity. An afterword fills in some gaps, with more details of the actual rescue and its happy aftermath.
From the January/February 2012 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.