FICTION

The Invisible Leash: A Story Celebrating Love After the Loss of a Pet

Little, Brown. (Invisible String). Dec. 2019. 32p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780316524858.
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K-Gr 2–This companion to the best-selling The Invisible String addresses coping with a death of a pet. Zack, an elementary school kid, deeply mourns the loss of his dog Jojo, whose ghostly form is pictured on nearly every page. Though his parents and his friend Emily try to cheer him up, Zack is angry and inconsolable. When Emily finds out why Zack is sad, she tells him that she grieved her cat Rexie but felt better when she learned there are invisible leashes connecting the departed pets’ hearts “in the beyond” to their owners. Rexie also appears as a ghostly feline, connected to Emily with a red leash. Dubious, Zack questions Emily as to how her cat could have a leash, but she expounds at great length that all pets, not just dogs, have invisible leashes and that seeing is not believing. Ultimately convinced, Zack goes to sleep happy, feeling connected to his departed dog. Lew-Vriethoff’s cartoon illustrations lighten the dark mood with bright colors while still conveying the heartfelt emotions of the protagonist. Unfortunately, their impact is lessened by the verbose text that tends to overexplain otherwise well-intentioned ideas.
VERDICT This title will likely appeal to the pet-owning fans of The Invisible String and will find a place in collections in need of pet loss books.

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