Stormy: A Story about Finding a Forever Home.

by Guojing

Kirkus This wordless story details the developing friendship between a homeless dog and a kind, patient young woman.The scruffy dog has floppy ears and long, reddish hair, and the light-skinned woman has long hair of the same auburn shade. The story is set in a modern city and a nearby park with a huge tree and a wooden bench that serves as the only shelter for the dog at night. When the woman comes to read on the bench, she spots the shy dog, gradually befriending the appealing canine over several visits by playing with a tennis ball. One night the dog follows the woman to her apartment building, waiting outside in the rain for her to reappear even as the woman goes back to the park in the pelting rain to search for the dog. In an emotionally satisfying reunion they find each other outside the apartment, and the woman takes the dog into her home. The heartwarming conclusion shows the dog sleeping on the end of the woman's bed as morning sunlight streams in the windows. Skillfully composed illustrations in a muted palette alternate between small panels in rows and full-page spreads with dramatic effects in mood and lighting. The narrative is conveyed so capably through the compelling illustrations that not a word is needed.A touching tale about the strong emotional connection between dog and human. (Picture book. 4-8) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Book list A small, curly-haired dog huddles alone under a park bench. When a young woman sits down, she is drawn to the stray, who runs away. The next day, she returns with a ball. As the two interact from a distance, the cautious dog slowly warms up, never coming too close. After the third day, as the woman walks back to her apartment, she doesn't see the dog follow her home. A terrible thunderstorm strikes that night, and while the dog shivers in a box near her doorway, the woman hurries off to the park on a rescue mission. When she returns home dejected, she finally notices the frightened, dripping stray and takes her new friend inside. Guojing (The Only Child, 2015) presents this wordless story in clean-cut panels interspersed with full-bleed spreads. Evocative pencil-and-watercolor images use a soft color palette sepia tones in daylight, grays and blues at night to emphasize the warmth developing between the woman and dog. The dramatic, elegantly designed illustrations bring an astounding power to an otherwise simple story, capturing nuanced emotion through movement, posture, and color. Brimming with golden-hued love, this is a book that successfully appeals to our most basic human sentiment, perfect for anyone who appreciates Guojing's accomplished visual style as well as for dog-lovers of all ages.--Lucinda Whitehurst Copyright 2010 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright American Library Association. Used with permission.

School Library Journal Gr 1–4—Guojing's wordless picture book follow-up to The Only Child is a story of patience and building trust in new relationships. A small, stray dog lives under a park bench and is visited by a young woman who repeatedly tries to connect with the pup, eventually using the element of play and the lure of playing ball. After one day of ball, without the woman knowing, the dog follows her home and that night a storm eventually brings the two permanently together. On the surface this is a simple story, but Guojing's artistic techniques draw readers in to each quiet, tender, fearful moment and allows them to understand the trauma that comes from living in insecurity. Using pencil and watercolor, her emotive use of light shows the sense of loneliness and isolation that happens in the shadows. Pages move from panels to full spreads that offer pacing and pauses to match the ebbs and flows of the building relationship. Just like the young woman gives the dog the space it needs, Guojing gives readers moments to stop and feel the emotion. VERDICT This beautifully illustrated book will appeal to a wide range of ages, can spark conversations around houselessness and insecurity, or just be enjoyed as a tale of a dog finding a "forever home."—Danielle Jones, Multnomah County Library, OR

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Publishers Weekly Accomplished panel artwork by Guojing (The Only Child) tells a wordless story about a young woman who spots a shaggy stray in a park. The dog stays behind when she leaves, and it’s there when she returns; she’s determined to lure it closer, but it won’t approach. Guojing’s panels convey the young woman’s patience as she uses a ball to build a bond with the stray. As the day ends, the light shifts from silvery cloudiness to golden rays of sunset. Readers see the dog trail the woman home, carrying its ball, then, in one of the story’s heart-tugging moments, sit in front of her apartment gazing up at her window. That night, a storm drives the hound into a discarded box as the woman dashes back to the park. A series of tense crosscut panels depict her frantic search amid sheets of rain, her downcast return, and the moment she spies the pup. From then on, warmth and love enter the dog’s life—and the woman’s. Guojing paces the story to rock emotionally between the dog’s lonely existence and the woman’s offer of love, building all the way to a joyful conclusion. Ages 3–7. Agent: Isabel Atherton, Creative Authors. (Sept.)

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