CM . . . .
Volume VII Number 6 . . . . November 17, 2000
I have often heard my motherThe latest addition to the "Meet Mooch" series of beginning novels is both touching and humorous. Carl, the narrator, returns to the Magdalen Islands with his friend, Gary, and the puppy they supposedly share, Dumpling. He hopes to relive his joyous summers before the untimely deaths of his father and dog Mooch. But, from the beginning of the trip, it is evident Dumpling is not like the noble Mooch. Dumpling gets motion sick in the car and frightened on the ferry. The summer holiday turns into one of harrowing yet funny adventures for Dumpling and sad disappointments for Carl. Carl returns home vowing to pay tribute to Mooch by recapturing his life in story.
Pierre Andre Derome's full page humorous sketches portray a lovable confused puppy, reminiscent of the dog, What-a-Mess. Young readers who persevere with the somewhat challenging vocabulary and awkward line breaks will be rewarded with a heartwarming story of grief and friendship. The only jarring note was Carl's inconsistency in referring to his mother sometimes as Judy and sometimes as mother.
Joan C. Simpson is a teacher-librarian in Winnipeg, MB.
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