A DOG WEARING SHOES is a delightful and moving book. Written and illustrated by Sangmi Ko, it is a somehow familiar story to me regarding a dog or two from my youth.
When Mini and her mother rescue a dog in traffic wearing shoes, they can’t find it’s owner right away so they take it home. Mini is smitten. She is ready to call the dog her own since it has no collar. And a dog without a collar can’t possibly have a home.
Mom reminds Mini that the dog is wearing shoes, so it must have a home. In short order, before they can locate the owners, Mini becomes attached to the dog and tries to engage it in activities. When she loses it on a walk in the park, she is frantic.
When they find it the next day at the animal shelter, Mini realizes how devastating it is to lose a pet you love and sets out in earnest to find the real owner. There is a lesson here about the love we have for our pets and the importance of giving love and forever homes to sheltered animals. I am moved by where this story begins and where it goes. I got a little choked up at the very satisfying conclusion.
Ko’s art is wonderful. Rendered in a soft pencil, it is primarily a tonal black and white. The scribbles and textures are comforting and anxious and warm and frightening. The spare bits of color added digitally are limited to the yellow shoes of the dog and the red leash Mimi tries to walk the dog in. The characters have exaggerated emotions that work well in the ups and downs of this book. Mimi in particular.
This is a lovely book with experiences some of us may have shared in our youth. The added notes at the end about how to adopt a dog are short but concise and maybe it will lead to some dogs finding their forever homes.