Review of Forever Home: A Dog and Boy Love Story

Forever Home: A Dog and Boy Love StoryForever Home: A Dog and Boy Love Story
by Henry Cole; illus. by the author
Primary    Scholastic    48 pp.    g
8/22    978-1-338-78404-6    $18.99

Cole’s skill in creating wordless picture books (see, for example, Nesting, rev. 3/20) shines in this engaging story about a boy and a dog that additionally introduces young readers to the structural complexity of dual points of view. Smartly allowing children to understand one thread before introducing another, Cole provides seven pages of front matter, which reveal an apartment for sale and a dog standing alone on the front stoop before finding shelter in a cardboard box. Following the title page, readers meet a young boy holding a bright red leash and clearly asking his two dads for a pet. But when his dads venture into his room, they find one big mess. Throughout the book, Cole creates numerous points for inference or discussion. Why is the dog alone? Why won’t the boy’s parents let him get a dog? Why does the boy help with chores and go on long walks every day carrying a leash? And why is that leash bright red, the only spot of color within black-and-white illustrations? The gentle pen-and-ink drawings depict the boy’s initiative and his parents’ pride, thus previewing the satisfying conclusion. Coming on the heels of two fine books about animal home construction (see also Building, rev. 7/22) Cole’s latest explores an important but related question: what makes a house a home?

From the November/December 2022 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Betty Carter
Betty Carter, an independent consultant, is professor emerita of children’s and young adult literature at Texas Woman’s University.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing.