"MacLachlan writes with simplicity and limpid clarity, acknowledging strong emotions evoked by the father’s departure and depicting the events that follow with sensitivity and bits of humor."--Booklist
"Newbery Medal-winning author Patricia MacLachlan has written a captivating and charming book with just the right amount of magic, love and family bonding that will delight readers of all ages."--Kidsreads.com
* "The spare prose, in William’s authentic voice, conveys pathos and humor; the boy’s cautious observations and Papa’s earnest explanations are offset by Elinor’s droll one-liners and the dogs’ succinct comments. Deft characterization adds richness and depth to a deceptively simple narrative, and appealing charcoal pencil illustrations throughout reflect the action."--SLJ, starred review
"The combination of a fanciful plot and likable, honest, straightforward characters makes this a solid cross-genre work with lots of appeal. The animal voices add further interest, as the pets observe the emotions of the humans around them, particularly William, before the people are even aware of their own feelings. While this will obviously draw in fans of animal tales, it will also attract fans of realism willing to stretch."--Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
When William’s father leaves, his mother promptly goes out and adds four dogs and a cat to their lives. William’s sure that nothing can fill the hole left by his father, but the new additions to the family are determined to help. With his sister, Elinor, and his mother, William will learn that “family” can come in all shapes and sizes, because sometimes we find love through magic, and sometimes that magic is all around us.