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Making Scents by Arthur Yorinks, art by Braden Lamb & Shelli Paroline. First Second, 2017. 9781596434523.

A truly weird graphic novel for people of all ages who consider dogs to be part of their families.

Mickey Spitz’s parents trained and raised bloodhounds, so he had a bunch of four-legged older brothers and sisters, and he learned to track scents right along with them. (This was tougher for him for some reason. He also had to go to school where no one really seemed to understand him.) After he learned to track smells he got really good at hide and seek — too good. This summary might make you assume this is a book about finding acceptance from his peers, and it has that element, but then tragedy strikes and Mikey finds himself in a terrible situation (saying anything would be too much of a spoiler) and he has to find a way to connect with his mom’s sister and her husband, who don’t like kids or dogs. It’s charming, beautifully drawn and colored, and goes places I didn’t expect.

If you pick it up at the library don’t read the back first, but if you’re giving it as a gift to a kid, please read it first.

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