Reviews for Looking Out for Sarah


Booklist Monthly Selections - #1 November 2001
Ages 3-8. Based on a true story, this handsome picture book tells of a day in the life of a guide dog, Perry, a black Labrador retriever who looks out for his blind owner, Sarah. Every page shows the close bond between the strong, active woman and the beloved companion who helps her be independent. Walking in the street, shopping, working, and relaxing at home, they are together. The narrative is true to Perry's viewpoint, whether he's enjoying the soft carpet and the crumbs under the table or leading Sarah up the steps of the post office or feeling the wind flattening his ears as he runs in the park. The gouache art, in bold, saturated colors and flat, well-defined shapes, is both childlike and sophisticated, with Perry at the center of the big pictures. Once Sarah and Perry walked 300 miles, from Boston to New York, and children will be caught up by the excitement of the journey as well as by the depiction of what a guide dog can do. ((Reviewed November 1, 2001)) Copyright 2001 Booklist Reviews

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2002 Spring
Perry, a black Labrador retriever guide dog, looks out for Sarah, a blind musician, as she shops, rides the subway, visits a school class, and practices songs at the piano. The spare text and minimal detail in Lang's framed gouache paintings nicely convey the personal/professional relationship between dog and owner. Lang's paintings will work well for story hours, and the special dog will have wide audience appeal. Copyright 2002 Horn Book Guide Reviews

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Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2001 #5
Perry, the black Labrador retriever guide dog featured here, looks out for a blind musician named Sarah as she shops, rides the subway train, visits a school class, meets a friend for coffee, and practices songs at the piano. The spare text and minimal detail in Lang's framed gouache paintings nicely convey the special personal/professional relationship between dog and owner. Perry is the focus throughout, from his cover portrait in working harness to his contented end-of-the-day sleep beneath Sarah's bed. Sarah's lack of sight is treated matter-of-factly with only the barest mention of her blindness until the author's short concluding note. Perry and Sarah's pleasant daily routine is punctuated with a flashback to a truly impressive accomplishment in which the two walked all the way from Boston to New York to demonstrate "what a guide dog can do for a person." Young readers also receive a useful lesson about guide dogs in a scene describing a school visit: "Sarah passed around photos of their walk and said it was OK to pat Perry now. But when Perry or another guide dog was working, they shouldn't pat or distract him." Broadly painted in soft warm colors, Lang's figures almost have the look of tissue-paper collage. They'll work well for story hours, and the special dog will have wide audience appeal. Copyright 2001 Horn Book Magazine

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Kirkus Reviews 2001 August #1
Going to the post office, shopping for groceries, and taking the train might not seem like difficult tasks-unless you're blind. Lang tells the story of Sarah Gregory Smith and her amazing guide dog, a Labrador named Perry. Told through his eyes, it follows them as they go through the events of their day, running errands, playing in the park, and visiting a school. It is not until Perry dreams that he reveals what has set them apart from many other guide dogs and their masters. It seems that Perry and Sarah walked 300 miles from Boston to New York, following country paths and small town sidewalks lined with crowds of cheering people and television cameras. Simple gouache paintings featuring large blocks of unbroken and unvaried color dominate each page. This layout forces the text to the bottom of every page, adding to the static feeling inspired by the rather stiffly posed paintings. The tale of Perry and his master is inspirational, but unfortunately, the rather bland illustrations do not do it justice. Young readers will be interested to read about the life of a guide dog from his own perspective, but they might not make it through the end of this ho-hum title. (Picture book. 4-8)Copyright Kirkus 2001 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2001 August #4
Based on a real black Labrador retriever named Perry and his owner, Sarah Gregory Smith, Looking Out for Sarah by Glenna Lang tells about the relationship between a blind woman and her lead dog. Perry guides Sarah to their favorite grocery store, the post office and then a nearby school. Sarah tells the children, "Yes, she and Perry once walked from Boston to New York to show the world what a guide dog can do for a blind person." Lang's warm gouache paintings convey the trusting and affectionate friendship between the two. (Aug.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2003 July #4
Based on a real black Labrador retriever and his owner, this story tells about the relationship between a blind woman and her lead dog, their daily routine and a walk they once took from Boston to New York. Ages 3-8. (July) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information. #

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School Library Journal Reviews 2001 September
K-Gr 3-Readers follow a guide dog and a blind woman through a typical day. There are bits of information about guide dogs throughout, such as the fact that they are allowed in restaurants and stores and that people should not pet and handle them while they are working. An interesting incident that only gets two sentences is the fact that Sarah and Perry once walked the 300 miles from Boston to New York to show "what a guide dog can do for a blind person." A concluding note explains that the book is based on a real dog and a real person. While this is a charming and informative look at the life of the guide dog, it is not without some minor flaws. At times, Perry has too many human characteristics. Also, the text states that when Sarah puts on her purple sweater, Perry knows they are going to a school, but dogs are color-blind. The full-page illustrations are in soft-toned gouache that looks almost like cut paper. The layout is the same throughout, with large pictures on a single page and two or three lines of text. This informative and easy-to-read book is a good addition to most collections. It would be interesting to use in conjunction with Nicola Moon's Lucy's Picture (Dial, 1995; o.p.), the story of a little girl making a collage picture for her blind grandfather.-Margaret C. Howell, West Springfield Elementary School, VA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

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