Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Review - Poor Louie

Poor Louie

by Tony Fucile
Date: 2017
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 40
Format: e-book
Source: library

Louie's life is great! A walk on the leash every morning, ice cream on Sundays, snuggling in bed at night with Mom and Dad. Even the playdates with Mom's friends despite their little crawling creatures who pull Louie's ears aren't all that bad. But then things get weird: cold food on the floor, no room in the bed, and lots of new stuff coming into the house in pairs: two small beds, two little sweaters, two seats in the stroller. Does that bode double trouble ahead, or could there be a happier surprise in store for Louie?

(synopsis from Goodreads)

This is adorable. I fell in love with Tony Fucile's work after reading the Bink & Gollie books, which he illustrated. Poor Louie is the story of a little dog who has a great life... until the impending arrival of a new sibling (or two?) makes Louie feel like he has no choice but to pack his things and run away.

This isn't the most original premise. I've seen other stories focussing on how pets feel when a new baby is brought into the household. But Louie has such a big personality that you get sucked right into his story. (It doesn't hurt that he narrates directly to the reader, forcing them to empathize with his plight.) The twist at the end is cute, and I didn't see it coming.

The illustrations here are wonderful. Fucile perfectly captures the dog's emotions in his facial expressions. Despite the fact that the backgrounds are monochromatic, the pictures aren't boring at all; the characters take centre stage, and you're able to focus on what's important to the story.

This is one of the most entertaining picture books I've read in a while. Children will enjoy it, of course... but their parents will probably also get a kick out of poor Louie's plight. I definitely recommend it.

Quotable moment:

Premise: 5/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 4/5
Illustrations: 5/5
Originality: 4/5

Enjoyment: 5/5

Overall: 4.67 out of 5

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