Oh, sweet nostalgia!

January 7, 2010 at 9:41 pm

McDuff and the Baby by Rosemary Wells, illustrated by Susan Jeffers; published by Hyperion Books for Children; New York; 1997.

McDuff loves hearing Fred read the Sunday comics, walking in the woods with Lucy, and sitting quietly together listening to music in the evenings. When a stranger arrives, McDuff’s world is disrupted. Wells weaves a story of sibling rivalry from the dog’s perspective, but it is through Jeffers depictions of McDuff that will help children capture the story. Most of the illustrations are from McDuff’s eye level, which is of ankles and carpet, and they are framed as though we are flipping through a photo album.  The 1930’s era art adds a note of nostalgia for grandparents reading to the next generation.

Certainly, this story should be recommended to families expecting a “stranger” to arrive to start discussions about the changes to come in the household. Dog lovers will enjoy watching McDuff’s changing moods as well.


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