BooksForKidsBlog

Sunday, June 27, 2021

Puppy Love: Can I Sit With You? by Sarah Jacoby

People are out and about. The little dog is, too. He follows a girl and her mom walking briskly down the sidewalk lined with row houses, some with friendly neighbors waving from windows and porches. But the dog sees only the girl.

Could he be hers? Could she be his?

PARDON ME.

IF THE DAY IS STRANGE AND NEW,

I'LL BE FAMILIAR, LOYAL, TRUE.

They walk through a dog park, through an overgrown field of green and through a cold, purple twilight. The girl throws the pooch's stick. He seems to be thinking about fetching it, but then picks it up and runs away. Other dogs follow them as they make their way onward through the trees toward home.

I'VE WANDERED... AND SEEN SO MUCH NEW.

I WILL SIT WITH YOU.

And the dog follows her home to sit in her lap at last, but not without his fetching sticks, in Sarah Jacoby's just published Can I Sit with You? (Chronicle Books, 2021). In her gentle story of a girl and her dog, author Jacoby seems to say that there's an element of choice necessary in the concept of dog and "owner," and this pup chooses his girl freely and happily after all.

Author Jacoby leaves the question of stray or runaway to the reader, and her lovely mixed media illustrations and rhyming text give both of them room to roam through the idea of who "belongs" to or with whom in this lovely new picture book. Says Booklist, "The gently rhyming text and engaging pictures will appeal to youngsters who have or want a dog of their own."

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