Bone dog

Eric Rohmann

Book - 2011

Although devastated when his pet dog dies, a young boy goes trick-or-treating and receives a timely visit from an old friend during a scary encounter with graveyard skeletons.

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Children's Room j394.2646/Rohmann Due Oct 21, 2023
Children's Room j394.2646/Rohmann Due Oct 16, 2023
Picture books
New York : Roaring Brook Press 2011.
1st ed
Physical Description
unpaged : ill
Main Author
Eric Rohmann (-)
Review by New York Times Review

More cute than creepy, this lullaby follows two monsters from classroom to bedtime routine. Its somewhat simplistic, off-kilter rhymes falter a bit at the end, but the narration benefits enormously from witty illustrations by Murphy ("Hush Little Dragon"), which abound in slithery, sinister asides: a stacking toy stacks on a bone; a Totoro-like ghost trails a larger figure. And googly-eyed monsters eat worm-ridden salad. Slurp. LITTLE GOBLINS TEN By Pamela Jane. Illustrated, by Jane Manning. 32 pp. Harper/HarperCollins Publishers. $16.99. (Picture book; ages 3 to 7) The classic counting rhyme "Over in the Meadow" goes spooky in this Halloween riff, which should endure well past Oct. 31. Beginning with its opening "big mommy monster/and her tittle monster one," readers are rewarded with ample humor and wit. Manning's ghosts, zombies and dragons look as if they've just emerged from a color-saturated waterworld. And there's a sweetness to the parental-offspring interactions in the playful, alliterative text. BONE DOG Written and illustrated by Eric Rohmann. 32 pp. Roaring Brook Press. $16.99. (Picture book; ages 4 to 8) Genuine goose bumps arise from this moving story of a boy and his recently deceased dog by Rohmann, who won the Caldecott Medal in 2003 for "My Friend Rabbit." At once heartbreaking and heartwarming, "Bone Dog" recounts the enduring friendship between Gus and Ella, who promises always to be with her human companion. "A promise made under a full moon cannot be broken," she says. In this exceptional book, wishes come true on Halloween. THE 13 NIGHTS OF HALLOWEEN, written and illustrated by Guy Vasilovich. 40 pp. Harper/HarperCollins Publishers. $16.99. (Picture book; ages 4 to 8) Vasilovich's first book as author as well as illustrator tweaks "The 12 Days of Christmas" by pitting a flame-haired Kewpie against a ghoulish backdrop of marching mutants, singing skulls, icky eyeballs and their Allhallows ilk. The wildly purple illustrations will more than distract from the occasionally disappointing text. (Why not "witches warbling" or "witches whispering" instead of "witches witching"?) But the bats wearing baseball caps, the eyeball flowers and the corpses caroling are wickedly original. FRANGOLINE AND THE MIDNIGHT DREAM By Clemency Pearce. Illustrated by Rebecca Elliott. 32 pp. Chicken House/Scholastic $16.99. (Picture book; ages 4 to 8) Another moon, another saucer-eyed minx! (What did Halloween heroines look like pre-Tim Burton?) Redheaded Frangoline is a do-gooder girl: "Pure as milk and good as gold,/She always did as she was told." Until sundown that is, when, unbraided, she re-emerges as a fiery-haired daredevil. "I'll do exactly as I please!/I'm Frangoline!' she said," goes the refrain. Parents will love the girl's gumption, and children will adore her irreverence. Elliott's dark, scratchy, animated drawings will please both. PAMELA PAUL ONLINE A slide show of this week's illustrated books at

Copyright (c) The New York Times Company [October 16, 2011] Review by Booklist Review

Events are cunningly foreshadowed through a translucent overlay on the title page: an illustration of a dog that, when the overlay is turned, remains happy and alert except now it is but bones. Yes, the story begins sadly, as Gus and his elderly dog, Ella, sit beneath the moonlight, with Ella admitting that she won't be around much longer, yet will always be with him: A promise made under a full moon cannot be broken. Soon Ella is gone, and Gus begrudgingly dresses as a skeleton for trick-or-treating. A shortcut through the graveyard results in being surrounded by nefarious, real-life skeletons. But it's ghost Ella to the rescue, howling so as to summon a legion of living dogs to chase down the skeletons. Thick-lined illustrations filled with autumn colors give this a true Halloween feel and are especially impressive during three wordless two-page spreads in which the skeletons run, the dogs give chase, and a single mutt struts back, bone in mouth. Several moments border on frightening, but this is ultimately a tender look at love's never-ending reach.--Kraus, Daniel Copyright 2010 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission. Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

Caldecott Medalist Rohmann's (My Friend Rabbit) friendly figures and soft, autumnal colors give this spooky story an overlay of tranquility. Ella is Gus's dog, but she's aging: "I'm an old dog," she tells him, "and I won't be around much longer." Yet she promises to stay near him always, and "a promise made under a full moon cannot be broken." After she dies, Gus, dressed as a skeleton for Halloween, is threatened by a half-dozen ghoulish graveyard skeletons: "A boy!" "And he's alive!" "And you know what that means?" "Bone appetit!!" Ella, now just a dog skeleton, shows up just in time to rescue him. It's an offbeat mixture of humor and sadness: in an arresting image, Gus looks incredibly alone as he stands in the middle of an empty graveyard, clutching his Halloween candy; the skeletons' scariness is tempered by their kooky poses and glib lines. Yet more than the skeletons, it's Gus's grief that's vanquished. Some may find the sight of Ella as a skeleton off-putting; others will find comfort in the idea that a dog's loyalty transcends death. Ages 4-8. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved Review by School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 2-Gus still grieves for his beloved pet, but the two are reunited when the boy finds himself surrounded by menacing skeletons in a graveyard on Halloween and Ella-now a bone dog-turns up to save the day. A spine-shivery tale of enduring friendship told with atmospheric artwork, a pun-cracking narrative, and plenty of heart. (July) (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. Review by Horn Book Review

Trick-or-treating past a graveyard dressed as a skeleton is always a risky move. But this Halloween, when real skeletons come out to taunt and possibly eat Gus, he has a secret weapon: the ghost of his dog Ella. The forceful black lines and high contrast of Rohmann's relief prints, the same technique he used in his Caldecott-winning My Friend Rabbit, give his potentially ethereal characters pleasing solidity. They also accentuate the weight of the story's emotion -- Gus's grief after Ella dies as well as the poignancy of boy and dog's fleeting moonlit reunion. The skeletons get all the corny lines, e.g., "You've got guts kid...but not for long!" Yet their silliness doesn't detract from the book's moving scenes, as when Ella, before she dies, sits outside with Gus one night, promising to be with him "no matter what happens" because "a promise made under a full moon cannot be broken." She repeats this vow in the end, and it's not creepy at all to see her skeletal frame seated next to the boy she loves, his hand patting her back, her bony tail wagging. christine m. heppermann (c) Copyright 2011. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. Review by Kirkus Book Review

Caldecott Medalist Rohmann employs a similar artistic style to his award-winning My Friend Rabbit's as he depicts a young boy's journey through grief by way of a spooky graveyard on Halloween.Beloved dog Ella tells Gus under a full moon, "I'm an old dog and won't be around much longer. But no matter what happens, I'll always be with you." Once Ella is gone, Gus mopes. On Halloween he reluctantly goes trick-or-treating, costumed as a skeleton. Heading back home he cuts through the graveyard. Here Rohmann's hues darken, and Gus looks small and utterly alone. In a quietly dramatic page-turn, Gus is suddenly surrounded by a group of skeletons. Their goofy behavior and wisecracking taunts turn sinister, and soon they close in. The ghost of Ella comes to the rescue, yet she alone cannot save him. "Together will all their might..., boy and dog howled into the night." A pack of dogs arrives to vanquish the bony bullies in an offstage battle readers see only in hilarious denouement. Gus and Ella cuddle once again. He asks, "Will I see you again?" Ella answers, "A promise made under a full moon cannot be broken." Here the image of ghostly Ella and skeleton-clad Gus echoes the earlier picture of the two.Sometimes scary, often funny and ultimately heartwarming, Rohmann's tale successfully balances a tight text full of tough emotions with clear images of an everlasting friendship. (Picture book. 4-8)]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.