A comforting and playful exploration of a beloved dog's journey after a happy life on Earth.In Newbery Medalist Cynthia Rylant's classic bestseller, the author comforts readers young and old who have lost a dog. Recommended highly by pet lovers around the world, Dog Heaven not only comforts but also brings a tear to anyone who is devoted to a pet. From expansive fields where dogs can run and run to delicious biscuits no dog can resist, Rylant paints a warm and affectionate picture of the ideal place God would, of course, create for man's best friend. The first picture book illustrated by the author, Dog Heaven is enhanced by Rylant's bright, bold paintings that perfectly capture an afterlife sure to bring solace to anyone who is grieving.
Newbery winner Rylant, who debuted as an illustrator with her Everyday board books (1993), offers paintings and text in tribute to ``Dog Heaven.'' Here there are fields to run in, soft beds (made of clouds turned inside out) and ``angel children,'' because ``God knows that dogs love children more than anything else in the world.'' Rylant's childlike acrylic paintings-similar though less practiced than the work of Lucy Cousins-are filled with checkerboard steps, yellow daisies and pink stars. Whether she is aiming for whimsy, albeit self-consciously, or striving to present a genuinely comforting view of heaven is not entirely clear. God, for example, stands like an organ grinder at a biscuit machine, wearing a purple hat and sporting a white mustache. ``God has a sense of humor,'' Rylant tells us, ``so He makes His biscuits in funny shapes... kitty-cat biscuits and squirrel biscuits,'' and ``every angel who passes by has a biscuit for a dog'' because ``every dog becomes a good dog in Dog Heaven.'' Many will think Rylant's vision appropriately warm and fuzzy; others will consider her on thin ice, psychologically and theologically. Dead animals invisibly return to earth ``for a little visit,'' a development likely to unsettle young mourners; told that dogs in Dog Heaven will be ``at the door'' when ``old friends show up,'' many children are going to worry about how those old friends got there. All ages.