Published by Henry Holt and Co.
Summary: Jo is facing a lonely summer with her father working away from home much of the time and not a lot of friends. One dull morning, she sees a dog walk by with a basket in his mouth, she follows him and discovers he’s been trained to shop, going to different stores with a list and cash in his basket. Some kids taking an art class at a bookstore see Jo and assume the dog belongs to her. They all fall in love with him and want to paint him. Jo, enjoying the company of other kids, plays along, and promises to bring “her” dog back the following Saturday. The lie seems harmless enough, but when a curmudgeonly old man goes after the dog (now called Pawcasso) for breaking the leash law, the whole town becomes divided into two camps: the Picassos and the Duchamps. Jo wants to tell the truth, but will her honesty cause her to lose Pawcasso and all of her new friends? Includes a recipe for ice cream that can be enjoyed by both dogs and humans. 240 pages; grades 3-6.
Pros: I try not to indiscriminately toss around the word “adorable”, but that is the only word for Pawcasso and his friends. Elementary kids are going to love this graphic novel, which not only features an amazing and loveable dog, but also includes some well-delivered messages about families and forgiveness.
Cons: Jo’s twin baby brothers had disturbingly huge eyes.
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