Booklist Reviews : Booklist Reviews 2012 April #2 *Starred Review* 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 simpleâhe 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. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.
Publishers Weekly Reviews : PW Reviews 2012 April #4
With minimal text and evocative panoramas of a beach house that exude serenity and quiet pleasures, Cooper (Beaver Is Lost) focuses attention on the loving relationship between a family and their loyal dog. One by one, family members ask Homer to join them, but the dog is happy to watch from the porch. Three younger dogs invite him to "Chase and race around the yard?" and Homer answers, "No, thanks." The smallest child suggests exploring the field with her. "Thank you, but no." As each family member returns to the house, they share their discoveries with Homer (flowers, a shell, fresh vegetables from the market). Finally, the father asks, "Do you need anything?" and Homer answers, "No, I have everything I want." He goes inside, eats his food, climbs into a blue chair, and adds, "I have you." Dog lovers will adore this quiet portrayal of companionship on an idyllic summer day. Moreover, Homer's attitude speaks volumes to readers of all ages who find contentment and peace in close-knit relationships, without needing to be at the center of the action. Ages 3â8. (June)
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School Library Journal Reviews : SLJ Reviews 2012 October
PreS-Gr 2âAs in Farm (Scholastic, 2010) and Dance! (HarperCollins, 2001), Cooper takes an uncommon approach to a traditional topic. Here, he replaces the exuberant or troublemaking dog of literary convention with a stolid, aging yellow lab contentedly watching the action occur around him. Emerging one by one from a seaside home, Homer's family invites him along to explore the beach, the market, the field. He gently declines each offer, remaining comfortably on the porch. As, one by one, the family returns with gifts from their wanderings, Homer warmly receives their treasures and enthusiastic accounts. Cooper's loose and exquisite pencil-lined watercolors beautifully portray both the vastness of the nearby ocean and cloud-studded sky-look for one lovely full-spread illustration encompassing the whole family adventuring individually that practically radiates with beachy idyll-and the nuance of Homer's realistically expressive face. After everyone's safe return, the father asks Homer if he needs anything. "No," Homer replies, absorbing the sunset before stretching, entering the house for dinner, and settling into his favorite chair in a wonderful six-paneled spread, "I have you." With short sentences, large font, and the familiar topic, the book seems targeted to a preschool audience, but the autumnal serenity may elude some younger children. However, the appealing illustrations, simple text, and loving but unsaccharine tone will capture many children, especially those with a veteran pet waiting patiently at home.âRobbin E. Friedman, Chappaqua Library, NY
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