The Longest Letsgoboy

Chronicle. Oct. 2021. 48p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781452177168.
PreS-Gr 3–Letsgoboy, a dog along in years, and his pint-sized companion embark on their final walk, their senses taking in the magic of the summer woods. Letsgoboy is delighted at every turn by the sights, sounds, and smells of the forest, and he uses a lexicon uniquely his own to describe his environs—clouds are puffers, trees are tallsticks, squirrels are branchjumpers. And while his joy cannot be dulled by the fatigue of old age, Letsgoboy knows that this walk will be his last. He revels in the love he feels for his surroundings and Little, his girl. With his earthbound journey complete, he peacefully passes in the shadow of his home. His girl grieves, seasons turn, and spring brings renewed life and a puppy to Letsgoboy’s child. Wilder deftly navigates the difficult topic of death by presenting it in tandem with the joy of life. The grief of loss is acknowledged, but not dwelled upon, and Wilder’s use of literal—and sometimes silly—descriptive phrases adds just the right amount of levity to a tough subject matter. The mixed media illustrations work brilliantly in conjunction with the text, particularly Chien’s depiction of Letsgoboy’s passing. The palette fluctuates from vibrant to solemn, shifting appropriately to the mood of the story.
VERDICT One not to be missed, this moving, visceral tale is a testament to the bond between a child and pet. Any person, young or old, who has experienced loss will find this essential purchase a profound comfort.

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