Shauna Masura's Reviews > Fred Stays With Me!

Fred Stays With Me! by Nancy Coffelt
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's review
Oct 16, 2011

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bookshelves: divorce, pets, dogs, parents, picture-books, best-friends, friendship, love, family, different-houses

Fred Stays With Me! by Nancy Coffelt offers a tender look at the complicated life of a child with separated parents. Although our spirited protagonist finds herself bounced between houses, Fred the dog always comes with to offer a sense of continuity. Readers get the impression that Fred and his faithful owner have carved out a life of their own within their dynamic environment. However, once Fred starts acting up in each household, an argument ensues over who will take Fred. Luckily our protagonist is assertive enough to stand up for herself- proclaiming, “Fred doesn't stay with either of you. Fred stays with me!” Each household is able to compromise and make the necessary changes to keep Fred around. Fred's exuberant personality comes alive through the gestures of Tricia Tusa's quirky illustrations, and a tightly monochromatic color palette- brown with a touch of red- maintains the same continuity within the book that Fred himself lends to the main character. Fred Stays With Me is an excellent story of compromise and family diversity that will resonate with readers in any family situation.

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