Balthazar The Great

“Where Bone?”, a kids’ picture book written and illustrated by Kitty Moss, is a hilarious account of a hilarious dog named Balthazar, who has lost his beloved bone. Balthazar is my emotional doppelganger and my personal guru; his plight and his behavior speak to me because I, too, go a bit (or very very) crazy when I lose my keys, my glasses, my nail clippers, my anything. Balthazar, you have taught me that I am not alone.

As an illustrator, Ms. Moss pulls off the amazing feat of telling us exactly how frustrated and lost Balthazar feels by simply drawing his eyes (and other face and body parts) in various shapes and sizes; some cute, some loony, some sad, some frustrated, all adorable. And in addition to those slightly goofy but extremely witty illustrations, Balthazar speaks! And here’s the thing: he speaks exactly the way I think a dog would speak if a dog could speak — simple, direct, longing, begging, ultra-expressive language.

Balthazar spends the entire book searching for his elusive lost bone, hunting desperately everywhere inside and outside his house. He searches in his dreams on the sea, on a boat, in the snow, in the bathtub; and he searches while awake through every nook and cranny in his house, making disastrous messes everywhere he goes, including the bathroom, where his search results in a house-wide flood. But the unfortunate results of his all-encompassing quest are a wrecked house, total frustration, and a piteous but very loud and very funny scream: WHERE BONE?!?

Now here’s a semi-spoiler: there is a happy ending for everyone (except, of course, his human family) as the important realization strikes him and us that even in the most dire situations, help may come from the most unlikely places and people.

“Where Bone?” Must see! Must read!

Review by Jack Kramer

Please note: This review is based on the final, hardcover book provided by Page Street Kids, the publisher, for review purposes.