by Remy Lai
* * * * Stars (Great!)
While Jo is in town she sees a dog carrying a basket and follows him, curious about what he’s doing/where he’s going. In the basket are a list and some money, and at each shop the dog gets a few items and lots of pets and treats from proprietors. At the bookstore, Jo is mistaken for the dog’s owner, and even though she tries to set the record straight, no one listens to her. Instead, she’s invited to stay, join an art class (that wants the dog to model for them), and a book club, AND get paid for her time – in books! for the next 5 Saturdays. She finally stops trying to explain and accepts her fate. After some initial mishaps, Jo is able to figure out where Pawcasso (the dog – not his real name) lives, and even meets his owners. Things get complicated when someone makes an official complaint about unleashed dogs, and soon the town is split in half between people who want to overturn the leash law and those who object – Picassos vs Duchamps. Jo is caught up in it all since it’s *her* dog that’s caused the fracas. The situation escalates and the truth comes out eventually. Now Jo has to figure out how to bring the town together and apologize for not being completely honest to the people who have become her friends.
Cute story – dog lovers will appreciate. Not totally fair to Jo, who does try to be honest about Pawcasso in the beginning. Fans of Smile, by Raina Telgemeier, might also enjoy this.
Reviewed by YA Librarian