2012. 236p. 978-0-06201-248-7. 16.99.
PreS-Gr 2–As in Farm (Scholastic, 2010) and Dance! (HarperCollins, 2001), Cooper takes an uncommon approach to a traditional topic. Here, he replaces the exuberant or troublemaking dog of literary convention with a stolid, aging yellow lab contentedly watching the action occur around him. Emerging one by one from a seaside home, Homer’s family invites him along to explore the beach, the market, the field. He gently declines each offer, remaining comfortably on the porch. As, one by one, the family returns with gifts from their wanderings, Homer warmly receives their treasures and enthusiastic accounts. Cooper’s loose and exquisite pencil-lined watercolors beautifully portray both the vastness of the nearby ocean and cloud-studded sky–look for one lovely full-spread illustration encompassing the whole family adventuring individually that practically radiates with beachy idyll–and the nuance of Homer’s realistically expressive face. After everyone’s safe return, the father asks Homer if he needs anything. “No,” Homer replies, absorbing the sunset before stretching, entering the house for dinner, and settling into his favorite chair in a wonderful six-paneled spread, “I have you.” With short sentences, large font, and the familiar topic, the book seems targeted to a preschool audience, but the autumnal serenity may elude some younger children. However, the appealing illustrations, simple text, and loving but unsaccharine tone will capture many children, especially those with a veteran pet waiting patiently at home.–Robbin E. Friedman, Chappaqua Library, NY
Homer is an old dog who is content to lie on the porch and watch his family race around, play on the beach, and swim in the waves. After all, they'll come back to him with joyful reports of their adventures. The quiet story is accompanied by simple watercolors mostly from the same vantage point but varied by family activities and time of day.

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