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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
Best friends come in all shapes and sizes. For young Mindy, the best friend, or at least the one she wants to be her best friend, is a little white dog that lives next door. It appears he wants to be her best friend, too. Unfortunately, Mindy isn’t allowed to go next door to play with the dog. And the dog isn’t allowed to dig under the fence to find Mindy in her backyard. It’s disheartening for them both, but Mindy’s mother and the neighbor who owns the dog are able to come up with an acceptable and allowable solution that’ll make everyone happy.
Colleen Baxter Sullivan’s picture book story, Mindy and the Dog Next Door, is a charming story about a girl and the cute little white dog that lives next door, the one she wants for her best friend. Accompanied by colorful illustrations, the plot develops nicely as the two wannabe best friends try to find their own solution to be together. The climax leads to a satisfactory conclusion. The main character, Mindy, is well presented and her growing affection for a neighbor’s dog is believable and sweet. The surprising bond that develops between girl and dog is also presented in a believable manner, with compassion and understanding for the bonds that exist between humans and dogs. The resolution is one that not only makes Mindy and the dog happy but also instills in Mindy the importance of being responsible for one’s best friend and taking good care of it while also providing it with lots of love and attention. A truly heartwarming story.