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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Poor Louie, written and illustrated by Tony Fucile. Candlewick Press, Random House. 2017. $23.00 ages 5 and up

"Oh. Hello.

You're probably wondering
what I'm doing here in the dark.
By myself. With all this stuff.

If you guessed that I tried to run
away tonight, you're right.
I did.

Why? Well, it's a long story."

It may be long. Louie's right about that. But, it's such fun to read. You will never feel the slightest inkling that it's too long. In fact, you will likely be sad when it's over. You will surely want to know more about Louie and his brand new life. Wait! I am getting ahead of myself. Louie wants to share his turmoil and troubles. So, let's give him the stage.

In a most winsome voice, Louie shares just exactly what has happened to get him to this place and time - and to his decision to run away from home. In the beginning, there is nothing wrong with his life. In fact, it's great. He is walked, adored, fed well, clothed, and pampered in every way. He doesn't even mind being a part of the friendly dates his mistress shares with others. Then, things begin to change dramatically.

Those dates suddenly take on a new look. First, one baby. Then, more and more. Louie is the center of attention for their grabbing and pulling and squeezing. Luckily, they do eventually go home. Life returns to perfect. Until it isn't! Every day brings new changes, and a shopping spree. Louie begins to understand that two of everything cannot be good for his future.

"One of those creatures I could handle.
But two? No way.

Then Mom and Dad just rushed off and left me all
alone. Not even a kiss good-bye!

Well, that was the last straw. I got all my things
together and ran away. Forever."

Or does he? And should he?

I am a big fan of Tony Fucile's pencil and watercolor artwork. He is able to convey such emotion on every page, changing perspectives and sharing humor that will have listeners (and readers) enjoying the total experience. Then, they will want to share it all over again ... and again!

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