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Eli the dog has been with Astrid since her parents brought her home from the hospital as a baby. Now Astrid is getting older, and so is Eli. Before he slows down too much, Astrid wants to make fun memories with him. So she makes a bucket list for Eli, which includes experiences such as eating with him in a restaurant, and taking him down a slide at the playground.
But in the end, what is most important to Eli is the time he spends with Astrid, whom he loves dearly. Sisters Kate and M. Sarah Klise have created a story that reminds readers of all ages that time with our loved ones is the most precious gift of all.
2018 ALSC/ALA Notable Children's Book
An Iowa Public Radio Best Book of 2017
"Who says bucket lists are just for humans? Not the Klise sisters, who gracefully trace a girl’s growing awareness of her dog’s impending death. Evocative acrylics amplify the matter-of-fact narrative, showing Astrid growing taller and more active as Eli slows down. ...The Klises close with an image of girl and dog watching the sunset over the water, a moment that—like the book as a whole—is both emotionally restrained and full of feeling."--Publishers Weekly, starred review
"Quirky and delightful on its surface, this poignant picture book opens the door to deeper considerations of eventual loss. A tender tension between the author’s ebullient text and her illustrator sister’s touching acrylic paintings—particularly the exquisite portrayals of the two protagonists—delicately suggests the inevitable without any overt occurrence. The framed photos on the living-room walls and the apparent subject matter of the pair’s library books (they’re all about dogs) communicate even more about the special relationship between a child and a dog, and the precious value of taking care of the ones you love."--The Horn Book, starred review
"The full-page, warm, pastel-colored illustrations perfectly match the text and make the book all the more wonderful. This is a story about making the best of and appreciating the (brief) time we have with our loved ones—in this case our pets, though the title easily applies to grandparents and other aging loved ones. ... A sweet and moving selection about the bond between a girl and her aging dog that avoids veering into sappy or maudlin territory. Spoiler alert: the dog does NOT die in the end (THANK YOU!)."--School Library Journal