Friday, February 21, 2014

Little Dog Lost Tale: Daisy Gets Lost by Chris Raschka


And with those four words little Daisy is off, chasing a blue ball this time out, ears flapping and stubby legs flying across the park. She snares the ball, mouths it, and is ready to fetch, when she sees something that stops her in her tracks.

It's a squirrel, for the moment absorbed with the fat acorn in its mouth. Fetching forgotten, Daisy drops the ball and charges toward the squirrel, who drops his acorn and makes a run for it into the woods and up a tall tree.

Daisy reaches the tree, barking, with front legs scrabbling at that pesky tree between her and her quarry, her tongue lolling with the joy of pursuit.

But her ardor cools as she looks around, and a worrying thought crosses her mind.

Daisy doesn't know where she is.

Daisy's girl does know where she is, either! She runs into the trees and undergrowth to look for her dog, calling her name!

Daisy runs frantically this way and that, getting more confused and lost as she goes. There seems to be no way out of the underbrush.

Suspense builds quickly in Chris Raschka's second Daisy book, Daisy Gets Lost (Schwartz and Wade, 2013), as girl and dog search blindly for each other in the tangle of the woods. Amazingly, Raschka's inimitable art style manages, with a minimum of seemingly careless brush strokes and dabs of color to portray high emotion as the two friends frantically try to find each other. Using double-page spreads and one bird's-eye view, the illustrator shows their frenetic hunt as they circle each other, lost. Only the squirrel knows where they both are, and he's not telling! Of course, it's not long until there's a happy pup and a girl hug in a joyful reunion to end this lost dog story, with even Daisy's blue ball found on the way back to civilization.

As he did in his Caldecott Medal-winning A Ball for Daisy, Raschka's minimalist text and artwork tells the tale well. Says School Library Journal, "As in his previous work, "Raschka masterfully imbues his ink, watercolor, and gouache illustrations with a stunning range of emotions…this book is a must for Daisy fans everywhere.”



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