Reading/Interest Level: Primary
Author: Garth Stein
Illustrator: R. W. Alley
A rambunctious dog is adopted, named, and lost on his first day home. Named after a race car driver for his passion for speed, Enzo loves the car ride home, but he needs room to run. Enzo wiggles out his doggy door and through a hole in the backyard fence. Tumbling into the street, Enzo runs into traffic and causes an uproar in the city, just as a storm rolls in. While Enzo’s new owners—a young girl named Zoë and her dad, Denny—search for him, Enzo follows his instincts and his nose to find their home, despite the downpour.
This picture book is a more upbeat, family-friendly version of Garth Stein’s own 2008 novel The Art of Racing in the Rain. Told from the point of view of the playful dog, Enzo, the storyline is sweet and simple. Bright and detailed painted illustrations help narrate, especially the dialogue and events that Enzo doesn’t understand as a dog. Primary-grade readers will also delight in Enzo’s adventures in additional books: Enzo and the Christmas Tree Hunt, Enzo’s Very Scary Halloween, and Enzo and the Fourth of July Races.