Michele Landsberg
March 09, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

Angus Lost

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Marjorie Flack
publisher
Doubleday
genre
Kids and Family

We gave it an A

Majorie Flack, who died in 1958, was one of America’s most productive and beloved author-illustrators for children. Her picture books about Angus, an irrepressibly curious Scottish terrier, are now lovingly reissued in their original 1930s format.

Clarity and simplicity were Flack’s great strengths as a storyteller for the very young. Generations of librarians and kindergarten teachers, as well as their audiences, have cherished the Angus stories for their gentle narrative excitements, which seems so perfectly attuned to the perceptions of small children.

In Angus Lost, the little dog ventures out his front gate for the first time to explore the big world. Carried away by his sense of discovery, Angus wanders too far and gets lost. By the time he endures some mildly scary adventures and finds his way home by following the milk wagon, he’s ready to enjoy the comforts of the familiar. The realistic illustrations of ’30s life will delight the nostalgia-loving adults as well as children. The rounded automobiles and horse-drawn milk wagons positively radiate the feel of a more reassuring era. And the pacing of the pictures — color alternating black and white, scenes of a quiet anticipation followed by lively activity-is ideal for holding the interest of the youngest readers A

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