Stead, Philip C.

Every Dog in the Neighborhood

(1) K-3 Illustrated by Matthew Cordell. Louis tells his grandma that he wants a dog. When she replies that there are already enough dogs in the neighborhood, Louis goes door to door to get a record of how many. As a result, he doesn't get just a tally of the dogs; he also gets to know his neighbors--Mr. Pierce, whose dog Harvey "will always live in my heart"; a blind woman with a guide dog; and many more (including a surprise appearance by Sadie from Stead and Cordell's Special Delivery, rev. 3/15). Meanwhile, in a subplot told only in the pictures, civic-minded Grandma rolls up her sleeves and establishes a dog park in a previously neglected part of town, City Hall clearly having given her an unsatisfactory response to the letter we saw her typing. As she tells Louis, "Sometimes if you want something done you've just got to do it yourself." Cordell brings to the page a vivid cast of characters as Louis canvasses the neighborhood. His shaggy, loose-lined illustrations in warm pastels are detailed and filled with humor. (The man who owns a dog named E. B. looks a lot like the Charlotte's Web author.) Stead creates an indelible character in Grandma, who is fierce, determined, and kind, and he leaves plenty of room in his lively text for Cordell to add layer upon layer to this already nuanced tale--one that ends sweetly, in more ways than one.


Get connected. Join our global community of more than 200,000 librarians and educators.

This coverage is free for all visitors. Your support makes this possible.

We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing.