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Aggie Gets Lost

Kirkus Reviews - June 15, 2011
In three short chapters filled with many short words, readers will recognize a child's trauma about a lost pet.
Ben, whom readers have met before in the Aggie and Ben series, is a conscientious person to his little dog, Aggie. He takes good care of her, feeds her, gives her large quantities of attention and affection and shares the bed, which he thinks is his and she knows is hers. But on her walk in the park, Aggie chases the red ball that she usually returns to him and doesn't come back. She is lost. Ben and his parents do everything they can to find their special friend, posting signs, searching, asking others—to no avail. After a terrible night, the boy returns to the park, where they again encounter friends, to resume the search. Mr. Thomas, who is blind, suggests that Ben use his ears to locate her. Eureka! He hears her howl, she is found and everyone is happy. Despite her bad breath and, worse, the stench of something Aggie has rolled in—a not uncommon habit of pups—all ends well. Art in pen, ink and watercolor shows the characters and their emotions clearly in a faux childlike drawing style.

Anyone who has worried about the loss of a special friend will understand the feelings involved with great sympathy and empathy.

NC Teacher Stuff - July 14, 2011
Ben and his dog Aggie go to the park to play fetch with a red rubber ball. Aggie is a good dog who brings the ball back every time. She is so good that Ben decides to rear back and throw the ball real hard. He throws it so hard that he cannot see the ball. Aggie runs after the ball but does not come back. Ben calls and calls and looks for Aggie but does not see her. He walks forlornly back home without Aggie. Ben and his family make phone calls and posters. They go back to the park, but do not find Aggie. Ben spends a lonely night full of doubt but is still determined to find his lost friend. The next morning, Ben gets advice from a surprising source and finds a happy, but quite smelly Aggie in the woods.
Two of the reasons why I think Aggie Gets Lost is such an early reader treasure is its authenticity and ability to show the depth of emotions that kids of all ages experience. The second of three chapters, "The Awful Night", gives us a character that goes through a range of emotions (doubt, heartache, anger, determination) that is incredibly rich for a beginning reader chapter book. Ben is like any of us who have lost something dear and wonder why it had to happen or if we did enough. Children and adults will easily connect to the feelings of this wonderful lead character.

Aggie Gets Lost would be a terrific book for teaching young children about how the plot in a book is often driven by a character's reaction to a problem. It would also be an excellent addition to a unit on friendship or pets.

By: Sarah Polace, School Library Journal - August 1, 2011
Aggie and Ben are playing catch in the park when Ben throws the ball too far and his pup doesn't come back. He looks everywhere, but can't find her. He and his parents make phone calls and posters, retrace their steps, and ask people if they've seen Aggie. When these efforts fail, Ben consults his blind friend, Mr. Thomas, who suggests a different approach. The book is split into three chapters for early readers, appropriately named "The Bad Day," "The Awful Night," and "Found!" Dormer's humorous pen, ink, and watercolor cartoons add to the charm of this story. Perfect for newly independent readers, the short sentences and limited vocabulary will help children build confidence.
Bay Views - July 1, 2011
This newest in the Ben and Aggie series focuses on Aggie getting lost. The different chapters deal with Ben’s fears, sadness, and finally joy in finding Aggie again. Ries gives funny examples, such as a blind man who uses his sense of smell to help find Aggie, and Dormer’s use of expressions in his illustrations add a humorous touch. Excellent for beginning readers, this would be a good transitional book from readers to easy chapter books. Ries and illustrator Dormer are a winning team. The apt and creative illustrations are very clear, original, and complement the brief text, which uses special word repetitions. This series could very well become a popular series similar to Cynthia Rylant’s Henry and Mudge.