Stay: A Girl, A Dog, A Bucket List (Kate Klise)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Stay: A Girl, A Dog, A Bucket List, written by Kate Klise and illustrated by M. Sarah Klise, a heartwarming story of the bond between a little girl and her aging dog.

Eli has been with Astrid since the day she came home from the hospital as a baby. He’s been her first friend, her bodyguard, a warm cuddle buddy, and a safe place to hide. And they have so much in common: they live in the same house, eat at the same table, and sleep in the same bed. The only difference is that Astrid is a girl and Eli is a boy… and a dog. But as Astrid grows, so does Eli (six or seven times as fast, in dog years). Now Astrid is a little girl, and Eli is slowing down in his later life. So Astrid decides that she will make a list of fun things to do together before Eli is too old to do them: going down a slide, taking a bike ride, reading together, seeing a movie, and having a very special meal. At last, when Eli is too old to leave home, Astrid keeps him company and wonders if there’s anything left that Eli wants to do. But Eli is content simply to spend time with his Astrid – it was the only thing on his list all along.

Deeply moving and tender. Losing a pet to old age is a common issue for families with little bookworms, and this is a really nice look at how we can make our furry friends comfortable and show them our appreciation and love in their final weeks or days. And while the story is very much based around the bond between child and dog, it’s a lesson that can be carried to the loss of human family or companions as well. The text and darling illustrations evoke innocence and kindness, and while it is implied that Eli will pass soon, he does make it to the end of the book (though the final line of text still got me choked up). JJ loved the art, and we both enjoyed the story. A touching story of girl’s best friend, and it’s Baby Bookworm approved!

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