The Stray

Nancy Paulsen Bks/Penguin. May 2020. 32p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780525514466.
PreS-Gr 2–When a family finds a stray creature without a collar or tag, things take an unexpected turn. They bring the dog-like creature home and name him Grub. Grub is terrible at following commands like “sit” and “stay” and he’s not housebroken, but they try to acclimate him into their family. Grub also seems very sad, and they wonder if he has a family somewhere. The family distributes “found” posters, hoping that Grub can be reunited with his owners. Though the text tells a story of a stray animal being lost and found, the illustrations, with irony and humor, tell a slightly different tale. Grub is dog-like, but a little extraterrestrial, and the family finds him at a spaceship crash site. He also has the ability to make all the house fixtures and appliances float in the air. Ruttan’s digital, charcoal, and pastel illustrations depict a cute and rounded creature who is full of emotion.
VERDICT This is an appealing story to read aloud, and will be sure to delight animal lovers.

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