Stormy: A Story About Finding a Forever Home

Schwartz & Wade/Random/. Sept. 2019. 40p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781524771768.
Gr 1-4–Guojing’s wordless picture book follow-up to The Only Child is a story of patience and building trust in new relationships. A small, stray dog lives under a park bench and is visited by a young woman who repeatedly tries to connect with the pup, eventually using the element of play and the lure of playing ball. After one day of ball, without the woman knowing, the dog follows her home and that night a storm eventually brings the two permanently together. On the surface this is a simple story, but Guojing’s artistic techniques draw readers in to each quiet, tender, fearful moment and allows them to understand the trauma that comes from living in insecurity. Using pencil and watercolor, her emotive use of light shows the sense of loneliness and isolation that happens in the shadows. Pages move from panels to full spreads that offer pacing and pauses to match the ebbs and flows of the building relationship. Just like the young woman gives the dog the space it needs, Guojing gives readers moments to stop and feel the emotion.
VERDICT This beautifully illustrated book will appeal to a wide range of ages, can spark conversations around houselessness and insecurity, or just be enjoyed as a tale of a dog finding a “forever home.”

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