A boy struggles to grow up "faster than anybody!" so he can rescue a shelter dog.
In a pensive story driven by allegorical intent, a boy brings home a stray dog, only to have his parents tell him that he isn’t old enough to care for the animal. The boy visits the dog at a shelter over several years, assuring it that he is gaining maturity: “I made my own lunch yesterday,” he says. “So you won’t be here much longer.” The years continue to pass (“I drove here,” he tells the dog one day), and when the boy finally decides to take the dog home, it has been adopted. Although the dog “moved very slowly now” and “couldn’t see very well” the two reunite in a semblance of a happy ending. Graceful in their simplicity, Phelan’s crisp digital illustrations match the moody atmosphere of the story with a pale palette spiked with orange elements (a ball, a field of flowers) that highlight the love between boy and dog. With its melancholy tone and focus on the passage of time, Strouse’s story will remind some readers of Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree—like that book, it can be read as a portrait of either selflessness or selfishness. All ages. (BookLife)
It's hard to read this moving book and not think of "The Giving Tree"--like that classic, "Hey Boy" is timeless and beautiful, a story that will break your heart while leaving you with a message of abiding love.