School Library Journal
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PreS-Gr 3-Littermates and fellow adoptees, two small pups share a mutual existence, eating from the same bowl, sleeping on same blue cushion, and tinkling on the same tree. However, they diverge in their daytime activities: Boot occupies the back porch while Shoe prefers the front porch. When a mischievous squirrel shakes up their routines, both dogs give chase, eventually collapsing, exhausted, into two separate heaps. After recovering, they search for one another, each taking up the other's post to wait for his sibling's return. Their vigils last through rainy afternoon, hungry evening, and shivery night, with morning bringing only more loneliness. Fortunately, "even in the worst of times, a dog still needs to pee," and the two finally meet up at their favorite tree for a joyful reunion. There is genius in this tale's simplicity and Frazee's understated text, repetitive language, sentence structure, and perfect comic timing play the heartwarming humor to the hilt. The pencil-and-gouache artwork, set against creamy French vanilla backdrops, blends precise lines with fluid motion, and the muted colors subtly mirror the narrative's restraint and changing moods. The snow-white pooches, with their black button noses and eyes hidden by furry fringe, are true charmers, and their emotions are masterfully conveyed through eloquent body language. A dog-lover's delight and tender ode to friendship.-Joy Fleishhacker, School Library Journal (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.
*Starred Review* Boot and Shoe, Shoe and Boot they're a perfect pair. The white-and-black canine moppets are identical littermates, except for one small detail: Boot has boot-high black markings on his legs, while Shoe has shoe-high markings on his. They live in harmony, eating out of the same bowl, peeing on the same tree, and sleeping in the same bed. Boot is a back porch kind of dog, while Shoe prefers the front porch. Sounds blissful, right? And it is, until a pesky squirrel upends their little lives. Frustrated by the squirrel's shenanigans, the two chase the tiny menace until it gets bored, then collapse belly-up from exhaustion. Boot wakes to find himself on the front porch, with no Shoe in sight; Shoe finds himself on the back porch, with no Boot in sight. Befuddled, they each wait lovingly for the other to return to his rightful spot. Two-time Caldecott Honor winner Frazee creates the dogs' world in a series of cozy, expressive vignettes (nestled in plenty of white space), which capture the devoted friends' joy and angst in shades of muted green and yellow. Full-page spreads offer up views of their tidy house, both porches visible, and a particularly amusing image depicts (seemingly) hundreds of squirrels and shaggy pups chasing one another around, up, and over the structure. Rarely have dogs or footwear been so charming.--Kelley, Ann Copyright 2010 Booklist
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With restrained humor and an eye for homey detail, Frazee (The Boss Baby) introduces near-identical terriers who lead a life that is "exactly perfect for both of them." They share a dish, a favorite tree, and a blue cushion, but part ways to sit in opposite lookouts: "Boot spends his days on the back porch, because he's a back porch kind of dog. And Shoe spends his days on the front porch, because he's a front porch kind of dog." When a mischievous squirrel pesters them into a mad chase (by colloquially getting "all up in [their] business"), the dogs accidentally switch positions. Frazee pictures them in silhouette on either end of a green cottage, each loyally standing guard and awaiting the other's return; even when they circle their house, they walk counterclockwise and fail to meet: "It was a long, sleepless night." Like Elisha Cooper's recent Homer, this is an everyday dog story elevated to a thing of beauty by understated artwork and prose. Frazee's hand-lettered type and the subtle differences between the well-groomed dogs add to the homespun, local vibe. Ages 4-8. Agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.