Picture Books Charlotte Zolotow Old Dog, The

ISBN 13: 9780060244095

Old Dog, The

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9780060244095: Old Dog, The

Once there was a dog who loved to run and jump and play. She was the best friend Ben -- or any little boy -- could have. But as Ben got older, so did his dog. One morning, Ben's old dog didn't open her eyes or wag her tail. She didn't even move.

Charlotte Zolotow's remarkable insight into a universal experience -- the hurt and confusion a child feels after his first encounter with death -- is poignantly echoed by James Ransome's striking oil paintings.

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About the Author:

Charlotte Zolotow—author, editor, publisher, and educator—has one of the most distinguished reputations in the field of children's literature. She has written more than seventy books, many of which are picture-book classics, such as Mr. Rabbit and the Lovely Present and William's Doll. She lives in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York.



James Ransome's work has appeared in nearly fifty books for children, including Uncle Jed's Barbershop, a Coretta Scott King Honor Book, and This Is the Dream. His highly acclaimed illustrations for Let My People Go: Bible Stories Told by a Freeman of Color won the NAACP Image Award. He teaches illustration at Syracuse University and lives in Rhinebeck, New York, with his family.

From Publishers Weekly:

With pensive, autumnal oils, Ransome (Aunt Flossie's Hats & Crab Cakes Later) tenderly illustrates this quiet book about the death of a pet. Each full-page painting faces a text page bordered with a panel of fallen leaves-a fitting symbol of the natural but painful close of the life cycle. Ben, the African American protagonist, discovers that his old dog has died. The ordinary events that follow help define both what it means to die ("Ben went to pat his dog good morning. She didn't open her eyes") and to mourn ("He walked to school slowly, and when he came home, old dog wasn't at the door to meet him"). Ben grieves over the dog; in a particularly moving, uncaptioned painting, Ransome shows Ben using his fists to block the tears in his eyes. In the half-expected conclusion, his parents bring home a new puppy. Coming so abruptly on the heels of Ben's well-explicated sorrow, the boy's instant joy rings a bit false. Nonetheless, Zolotow's simple, comprehensible insights into death redeem the formula ending. Ages 4-8.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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